Plastics: A climate champion? – Ciruclar economy round table with NÖM, ARA and ALPLA
Austrian dairy company NÖM, packaging solutions manufacturer and recycling specialist ALPLA and ARA hosted a virtual Circular Economy Round Table to shine the spotlight on Austria's most sustainable milk bottle.
NÖM Director Alfred Berger talked about the continuous evolution of NÖM’s flagship rPET product. Launched in 2018, the sustainable milk bottle boasts a contemporary transparent design with an innovative EcoFloat sleeve. It has received a recyclability award.
Rainer Widmar, Regional Manager of ALPLA Group, once again underscored the benefits of plastic packaging and even called plastic a secret climate champion: Compared with glass or metal, it is, after all, truly light-weight, which has a positive impact on the carbon footprint. Also, recycled PET produces up to 90 % fewer greenhouse gas emissions than virgin PET. Widmar called for objective decision-making and a framework based on the facts – which includes recognising and treating plastic as the recyclable resource it is. He argued that eco-modulated Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) fees provide a targeted incentive.
In a similar vein, ARA CEO Harald Hauke made the case for expanding the separate collection scheme for households, on-the-go consumption and events. In addition, he maintained that significant improvements of sorting depth and output quality are needed, which can be achieved with high-tech sorting plants, end-to-end digitisation of processes, and a new approach to capturing packaging from commercial entities. The ARA Circular Design initiative provides a team of experts on design for recycling and design from recycling to support ARA customers in the development of other innovative flagship packagings.