Countries can build infrastructure to manage increased recycling as they focus sustainability in packaging.
World Packaging Organization (WPO) president Pierre Pienaar said the group sees a future without waste by increasing plastic recycling and identifying alternatives.
“The packaging has a role to play in sustainability and that is through recycling,” he said.
Pienaar said packaging is necessary for food safety and quality, protecting food, extending its shelf-life, and reducing food waste; but there is a need to develop solutions that reduce packaging volume.
“We target unnecessary packaging. We encourage phasing out materials that are not recyclable,” he added.
Pienaar said food and packaging wastes have been reduced while packaging education has been increased.
“We need to start educational programs at the young level… This is the future of the industry, it’s the future of our economies around the world. We need to educate them,” he said.
To achieve this, Pienaar said WPO supports the design and implementation of affordable and effective mandatory Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) schemes across the world.
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) defines EPR as an environmental policy approach in which a producer’s responsibility for a product is extended to the post-consumer stage of a product’s life cycle.
Until 2023, Pienaar said their focus is identifying key countries that require WPO assistance in achieving these EPR outcomes.