Belgium-based PET value chain organisation Petcore Europe has created the Plastic Aerosol Recycling Special Industry Group (SiG) in anticipation of an increased need to recycle higher amounts of plastics aerosol containers.

The task force has been established as Petcore expects the European Union to update its Aerosol Dispenser Directive (ADD) in 2020, potentially allowing for plastics aerosols beyond 22cl in Europe, which would result in an increase in recycling volumes of PET products from the household packaging waste stream.

“Currently, the capacity is restricted due to the fact that the ADD was written in a time when only brittle plastics were available. This led to the approach to treat plastics the same way as coated glass containers”, explained chairman Johannes Burghaus. “With PET we have today an ideal plastics aerosol material at hand. That is why FEA, the European Aerosol Federation, started an approach to change the ADD and allow plastics aerosols beyond 22cl capacity in 2008.”

As this may enable mass market instead of only niche production, the market volume of plastics aerosols is expected to increase. This will likely result in a higher amount of plastics aerosol packages in the collection, sorting and recycling systems in Europe. The objective of the new SiG is to design guidelines as well as suitable collection, sorting and recycling processes, which will be needed for the recycling of plastics aerosol packages.

“In line with the new European Plastic Waste Strategy, we need to enable a smooth entry of new plastics aerosol packages to the PET recycling stream”, explained Christian Crepet, Petcore Europe’s executive director of the SiG objective. “Design guidelines as well as suitable collection, sorting and recycling processes are needed in order to recycle plastics aerosol packages properly. Via this full value chain collaboration it is intended to make plastics aerosol packages fully recyclable in standard PET containers.”