Designing for a Circular Economy Guidelines phase 1

CEFLEX is developing a set of design guidelines for consumer flexible packaging. Their objective is to support and advise the entire value chain to design and specify flexible packaging suitable for collection, sorting and recycling after use. This is part of our ‘Mission Circular’ – to create a circular economy for flexible packaging in Europe by 2025.

To create them, CEFLEX gathered expert input from more than a 100 stakeholder companies and organisations, before inviting targeted industry and association bodies to consult and give feedback.

Most recently, CEFLEX invited the wider industry to contribute. An open consultation to further assess and enrich the guidelines was held 6 December 2019 – 17 January 2020. This process is now closed.

Nearly 200 individuals registered to download the draft guidelines and input gathered from across Europe. All responses received will be reviewed and evaluated by CEFLEX and used as a basis for making changes to the draft guidelines prior to finalisation.

The phase 1 guidelines will be launched in Spring 2020.

Background information

Guideline and consultation scope

The guidelines are being developed in a phased approach. Phase 1 focuses on designing for recyclability in a circular economy for polyolefin-based consumer flexible packaging (mono-polyethylene, mono-polypropylene and polyethylene/polypropylene mixes). This is because this material makes up the largest proportion of the post-consumer flexible packaging waste stream (70-80%) and because the ability to sort and mechanically recycle these materials is already proven at industrial scale in Europe.

Please note that additional flexible packaging structures will be subject to further analysis and consultation during 2020 and are not part of phase 1.

How the guidelines have been developed so far

The phase 1 draft guidelines have been developed and refined over the last two years via a consultative majority agreement process. Primarily thanks to input from a dedicated CEFLEX workstream, which today represents 80 companies and organisations across the flexible packaging value chain.

In June 2019, all 133 CEFLEX stakeholders* were invited to give input and further targeted consultation with key industry and material associations conducted. An open consultation to further assess and enrich the guidelines was held 6 December 2019 – 17 January 2020.

*Number of stakeholders in June 2019