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France tests extended PET and PTT plastics collection system

A study on the feasibility of extending household plastics packaging recycling in France has produced mixed results, but researchers have suggested rolling out the system nationally.

In 2011, Eco-Emballages, a private entity recognised by the French public authorities, launched a pilot in 51 French municipalities to add mixed-plastics and films to the existing PET and HDPE bottles collection system. The study involved 30 MRFs and runs until the end of December 2013.

The preliminary results were presented by Eco-Emballages managing director Carlos de Los Llanos at IdentiPlast 2013, Plastics Europe’s conference on plastics recycling and recovery.

It was revealed the collection of pots and trays (PTT) and films increased from 1.6kg per person per year to 2.8kg. But the MRF output that could be sold to recyclers was less than expected, only 1.6kg per person per year.

De Los Llanos pointed out that most MRFs could not cope with the extended waste packaging stream and experienced decreasing yields, productivity and higher sorting costs per tonne.

He said new capacities needed to be developed to separate polystyrene, PET and films for the extended collection system to be economically viable.

On the basis of the results, in March 2014 Eco-Emballages will present a plan for a progressive implementation of the extended collection and sorting system in France, said de Los Llanos.

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