"Making sustainable choices starts with knowledge of waste streams"

Modiform is researching European plastic recycling streams

All European countries have organized their collection of plastics from consumers and businesses in different ways. Modiform has extensively researched how plastic is recycled in a number of European countries. This knowledge helps customers and partners to make responsible choices. With ‘Horizon2025’, Modiform has stated its ambition to sustainably change the entire supply chain in the sector as well as its wish to achieve maximum recycling. This starts with making the right choice on the basis of the right knowledge.

Consumer waste
There are two types of recycling: post-consumer and post-industrial. Consumers dispose of pots and packs together with their household waste. It is important for growers to know which types of plastic are recycled in the country where the product is purchased and used. In any case, plastic containing carbon black is not recycled from household waste in any country. For each pot and pack, ‘free from carbon black’ is the guiding principle.

"We have produced an infographic to show the findings of the research with regard to the products that are disposed of as consumer waste. This can be used by growers and retailers as a guiding principle in making sustainable choices. For a number of European countries, it shows whether a product can or cannot be recycled or whether it can be detected. Additionally, the infographic offers alternatives for more sustainable solutions. You can find it on www.modiform.com."

Industrial processing
Other products which are used in the horticulture sector – such as growing and transport trays – are also recyclable but are processed in the post-industrial recycling circuit. The Leusden-based company wants to close the material loop through measures such as but not limited to establishing return streams from retail. The polystyrene (PS) products that are returned in this way are recycled in-house at Modiform.

Number and diversity of rules
European legislation requires packaging to be reusable or recyclable and sets the goal of recycling 55% of all plastics by 2030. Jan van Brummelen (Modiform’s Director of Production): ‘Each day, we notice once more that the number and variety of requirements and rules and regulations that apply to products in Europe are a source of confusion. For example, the United Kingdom has determined that – as of April 2022 – plastic packaging must contain at least 30% recyclate, otherwise a plastic tax of £200 will need to be paid. Additionally, Sweden is focusing on developing sorting systems that can also recycle black plastics which contain carbon black. We are convinced that making the right choices now will result in advantages in the future. This applies to both the environment and the company.’

European legislation and targets
A number of institutes provide recognized certificates for recycling in Europe. Modiform uses the Cyclos-HTP certificate because this international and independent institute adheres to the highest standard within recycling for plastic packaging that is disposed of with household waste. This certificate provides absolute clarity regarding a product’s recyclability.

Closed Loop Commitment
Modiform’s focal points for sustainability come together in its Closed Loop Commitment. The material loop can and must be closed. Using the right materials and production techniques reduces products’ environmental impact. The Closed Loop Commitment consists of many building blocks: from sharing knowledge to producing recyclable products made from recyclable materials (like recycled cardboard) for the ecoExport products. As such, Modiform focuses on the various links in the supply chain and is always looking for ways in which the various parties can collaborate, From breeder and grower to trader and retailer. Modiform supports, facilitates, and develops a whole spectrum of solutions – from simple to complex – for packaging needs and consequently adds value for the client. Thinking and acting sustainably are in the genes of this family company. Modiform collects materials from wider society and upcycles these into high-quality and unique products as well as innovative concepts.

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