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Back Home Knowledge center Material About plastic and disposable containers

About plastic and disposable containers.

Plastic have become a symbol of our unsustainable lifestyle. It is not so strange considering that 90% of all debris in the oceans is plastic and we people seems to be totally unable to take care of our own waste. Is that so?

WHAT IS THE UPSIDES AND DOWNSIDES WITH PLASTIC?

Plastics are made from fossil fuels which are a non-renewable raw material. The disadvantage with plastic is that if it ends up in nature, it takes a long time for nature to break down the plastic. Also, we do not yet know how microplastics affect our health.

The advantage of plastic is that it is a light material, which makes the transports more environmentally friendly. But the main advantage of plastics is that it can help prolong the life of food. For example, a cucumber with a plastic casing lasts for 12 days longer compaered to cucumber not wrapped in plastic. This is an important to know - food waste is one of the world's biggest causes of greenhouse gas emissions.

One third of all food produced is never eaten up, largely because the food's sustainability is not good enough. Food waste accounts for as much as 7% of the world's entire emissions and, of course, becomes a very important issue for our environment. How would the already large food waste be affected if we removed all packaging and packaging plastic? Food, and especially the unsprayed foods, would not last as long and would not survive long transports. It would require a lifestyle change where we trade more locally produced, but also more sprayed foods. We would have to shop more often and eat less sensitive foods with short shelf life.

plus.jpg Increases food sustainability

plus.jpg Lightweight material which makes transport more environmentally friendly

minus.jpg Made of non-renewable raw material that takes a long time to break down

 

IS DISPOSABLE PACKAGING PRODUCTS REALLY NECESSARY?

Without packaging products our society does not work. But disposable packaging must be handled responsibly. There is a joint responsibility for both producer and consumer. Packaging products reduces food waste, so restaurants can take use leftovers that would otherwise have been food waste.

Unnecessary packaging product, like prouducts that are too large for its content, contributes to unnecessary climate impact. This is regulated to some extent by a regulation regarding producer responsibility for packaging (2006:1273).

 

SHOULD I SELECT PLASTIC OR PAPER PRODUCTS?

Replacing the plastic bag with cotton or paper bag is not the same as making a good enivormental choice. According to a study made by the Danish Ministry of the Environment, it was shown that a plastic bag that is reused as a garbage bag is the most environmentally friendly alternative seen from a life cycle perspective. You can read more about this here.

When it comes to packaging products which are to be used of storing and keep food durability and thereby reducing food waste, plastic is today a better alternative than paper.

 

IS THE OPTIONS TO PLASTIC?

There are materials with properties as good as or similar to plastic, that are not produced by fossil fuels. Bioplastics made from sugar cane or corn starch are examples of such materials. Research suggets that such plastic is more efficient to use than, for example, paper or glass products.

Packaging products and bags made from recycled plastics also represent a more sustainable choice. Discover products that represent a more sustainable choice by clicking here.

What can I do as a company?

As an entrepreneur, you can start by making some simple changes and go from there. To help you make those first step, here you have some tips on what you can do:

  • REPLACE BLACK PLASTIC

Transparent or colorless plastics are better alternatives from a recycling point of view.

  • SELECT PLASTIC MATERIALS WHICH ARE RECYCLABLE

Not all plastics are recyclable. So we recommend that you make an active choice when choosing which material you should have in your products. Examples of good materials from a recycling perspective are uncoloured PP plastic, PET, LDPE and HDPE.

If you want to learn more about different materials, we recommend that you read our material guide - see here.

  • REDUCE PRINTED PRODUCTS

Ink has a negative impact on the quality of the recycled material. You can reduce his in two ways: review the number of printed products you use in your business and ook for non printed alternatives or reduce the print surface on existing products.

  • SELECT PRODUCTS MADE FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC OR BIOPLASTIC 

Products made from recycled plastic have the advantage that they are made of plastic that already exists. They can also be recycled again by recycle the products as plastic packaging.

PLA is another option. PLA is a bioplastic that are made renewable raw material, such as corn starch, and does not use the fossil raw materials in the production. 

You can find products of recycled plastic and PLA on our page "A more sustainable choice" - Click here.

  • TAKE CARE OF YOUR WASTE PROPERLY

Help your customers and / or employees to sort your waste properly by setting up bins that clearly markes what type of waste they should be used for, example: PLASTIC RECYCLING. Place those bins in suitable locations. In our range you will find the products you need to set this up - see here.

UNDER 2021:

Blir det skatt på engångsartiklar?

Med anledning av EU:s engångsplastdirektiv tillsatte regeringen 2019 en särskild utredning gällande skatt på engångsartiklar i plast för att minska negativa miljöeffekter. Den 10 augusti 2020 presenterades utredningen, där det föreslås en skatt på artiklar som är gjorda av, eller innehåller plast (SOU 2020:48).

Skatten för en plastmugg föreslås till 5 SEK per mugg.

Skatten för en matförpackning av plast föreslås till 7 SEK per matförpackning.

LÄS FRÅGOR & SVAR OM SKATTEN

Hur ser nedskräpningen i Sverige ut?

Naturvårdsverkets rapport från augusti 2020.

Skräp hör ju som bekant inte hemma i naturen. Men vilka är egentligen de största "skräp-bovarna"? Diagrammet nedan visar andelen vikt av insamlat skräp fördelat på olika kategorier. Underlaget kommer från den nationella skräpmätningen som Håll Sverige Rent genomförde 2020. 

Glas, tuggummi samt cigaretter och snus står för stora andelar medan plastpåsar, organiskt- och övrigt skräp samt take away emballage utgör mindre delar av den totala nedskräpningen.

Nedskräpning stillbild.jpg

Källa: Naturvårsverket, Utöka kunskapsläget kring nedskräpningen i Sverige (RB 2020)

 

Kan en skatt på engångsartiklar bli aktuell?

Utredning fram till augusti 2020 - därefter ett förslag.

Från år 2021 kommer som bekant ett förbud att införas inom EU på vissa engångsartiklar i plast. De som berörs är plasttallrikar, plastbestick, plastsugrör, plastomrörare, bomullspinnar, ballongpinnar, livsmedelsbehållare och dryckesbägare av EPS. Mer om detta kan du läsa här  

Med bakgrund i denna lag har regeringen nu valt att gå vidare med att utreda en skatt på de engångsartiklar som inte berörs av själva förbudet. Utredningen kommer att pågå fram till augusti 2020 och då ska det arbetas fram ett förslag på hur en skatt på engångsartiklar skulle kunna se ut och på vilka artiklar som i så fall skulle beröras.

Utredaren ska även överväga om beskattningen ska se olika ut på biobaserade eller återvunnet material, samt material som är fullständigt nedbrytbara i naturen. Syftet med utredningen är enligt regeringen att försöka vända utvecklingen och minska efterfrågan på engångsartiklar.

Om utredningen visar att det finns andra lösningar som skulle vara lämpligare än beskattning, ska sådana lösningar presenteras.

 

Ny kamera detekterar svart plast.

Det finska företaget Specim har lanserat en ny IR-kamera som kan identifiera svarta plaster. Idag skickas tyvärr mycket återvinningsbar plast till förbränning pga. att dagens kameror har svårt att identifiera den svarta plasten.

Med innovationer som denna kamera ökar förhoppningen om att vi kan lösa dagens återvinningsproblem med svart plast. 

Källa: Pacnet.se

Plastkretsen builds a modern sorting facility for plastic.

At Motala, the construction of one of Europe's most modern sorting facilities for plastic packaging is currently underway. The facility is being built by Plastkretsen, which consists of representatives of the plastic industry and packaging manufacturers, and will be in operation in the summer of 2019.

With this facility, all packaging products will be able to be handled and recycled in Sweden. The facility will be able to recover a large amount of high quality plastic. It will have the capacity to sort 20 tons of plastic per hour.

"With our investment we will finally be able to sort all our plastic packaging in Sweden and we aim to increase the proportion of material recycling" - Kristian Östlund, Chairman of Plastkretsen

FACTS ABOUT THE FACILITY

  • Owner: Plastkretsen AB
  • Location: Motala Business Park
  • Area: 14,000 square meters
  • Capacity (max): 120,000 tonnes per year

Source: food-supply.se

EU voted for a ban on disposable plastic products.

On October 24, 2018, the European Parliament voted for a ban on disposable plastic products. The purpose of the ban is to reduce plastic waste in the oceans and beaches. Now, the EU must negotiate with the Member States on how the ban should be applied and what measures should be taken. If the ban is voted on, the ban will apply from 2021.

In our range there are products that are affected by such a ban eg. straws, drinking sticks, cutlery, plates, food molds and plastic bags.

What does this mean for business in Sweden?

It may be good to start looking into alternative materials for your disposable plastic products. In our range, we have products made from renewabable materials that you can replace some of your plastic products today. You will find more sustainable products on our site "A more sustainable choice" and if you want to read more about different sustainable materials, we recommend our material guide.

DLF launches the Plastic Initiative 2022.

The Grocery Suppliers' Association, DLF, has launched the Plastic Initiative 2022. The goal of this initiative is that all plastic packaging that DLF's members take on the market should be recyclable to new material by 2022 at the latest.

This initiative comes as a response to the new European Commission's plastic recycling goal, which means that all plastic packaging that is placed on the market should be recyclable to new plastic raw material. In Sweden today, an estimated 25% of all plastic packaging on the market can be recycled.

Source: dlf.se

Grocery store's goal: fossil-free plastic 2030.

Plastic and plastic packaging is a hot topic in grocery store industry. The industry notes that there are many advantages of plastic, such as reduced food waste due to extended shelf-life of plastic wrapped food, but their ambition is to reduce the use of fossil-based raw material. The aim is for all plastic packaging to be made from renewable raw material or recycled raw material in 2030. And in 2022, all materials must be recyclable.

Grocery stores will urge the government to invest in the development of production of Swedish bio-based raw material, for example. from the forest.

Source: butikstrender.se

ett mer hållbart val
A MORE SUSTAINABLE CHOICE

18 labels, 2360 products.

To take environmental responsibility is too many companies more important than ever. The products on the theme page "A more sustainable choice. ", either has an eco-label or meets established environmental requirements from a control organization. Currently there are 2360 products on the page from widely different product categories, and together they have 18 different types of eco-labels. We have the ambition to continuously expand our range.

Read more See products

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Recycling Guide.

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Plastic detox is a concept that has become popular recently. Here you will find tips on how you can reduce the use of platic in your restaurant. 

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