Training #2 - Improving recyclability of packaging and new technology for recycling packaging

Companies are finding ways to be sustainable by reducing their packaging waste by reducing the amount of materials used and utilising recyclable materials. They aim to minimise environmental impact while contributing to cost-savings in materials, energy, transport and disposal. While it takes some effort, technological advancements can allow for the development of versatile packaging waste management methods.

As part of the Packaging Partnership Programme Training Series, the second training held on 11 November 2020 introduced participants to technological developments in the field. From the use of data analytics in waste management, to the development of mono-material packaging as well as experience in enabling the recycling of multilayer packaging.

There were more than 40 business representatives from different industries, such as food and beverage manufacturers, packaging producers and retailers present at the online training.

Screenshot 1: Mr Emmanual Tay sharing how Big Data Analytics can help organisations operate and manage of their waste

Secretary of Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS) Mr Emmanual Tay, shared how companies could use data analytics to reduce waste disposal. By collecting and analysing their waste data through waste audits, companies were given a clearer understanding of waste hotspots, were able to reduce the number of disposal bins, and contracted their generation of waste and recyclables. Mr Tay also shared how waste management companies could apply image recognition from Artificial Intelligence (AI) to aid in the process of identifying waste and recyclables automatically, allowing the sorting processes to be automated.

image2Screenshot 2: Mr Andrew Ong shared how the redesigned packaging would be more recyclable

Business Development Director of Aegis Packaging Mr Andrew Ong shared how the multilayered coating of barrier bags extends food products' shelf life. However, such flexible multilayer packaging are not recyclable. He explained that by redesigning packaging to only use PE Film as the barrier, the packaging can still have similar oxygen, moisture and light barrier properties, while being recyclable. The use of such materials can help achieve a circular economy.

Screenshot 3: Ms Huong Bui shared that increased pressure on the circular economy of packaging has challenged companies to think differently over the years

Cluster Portfolio Manager of Tetra Pak Vietnam Ms Huong Bui shared the companies’ journey towards sustainable packaging by sourcing for materials from renewable sources and designing the Tetra Pak to be recyclable to move towards a circular economy. All this can be done without compromising on food safety standards.
Screenshot 4: Ms Terrynz Tan shared the key factors contributing to recycling success, on top of designing a recyclable packaging

Sustainability Director for Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines Ms Terrynz Tan, shared that recyclability was a key-enabler of a low carbon circular economy for packaging. A circular economy depends on sustainable recycling value chains, which ensures cartons are collected, sorted and recycled in practice and at scale. To ensure Tetra Pak’s recycling efforts are aligned across their business, dedicated teams continue to apply practical knowledge and experience in developing recycling value chains. On top of designing for increased recyclability, effort had to be put into four other factors to enable recycling: Increased consumer awareness, supported collection and sorting infrastructure, boosting business opportunities for recycling entrepreneurs and to expand market opportunities for recycled materials.
Ms Tan also shared on the various initiatives carried out across the region to raise consumer awareness, to encourage source segregation, and to enable packaging collection infrastructure for recycling.

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