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IFAT Munich: Circular economy and resource efficiency

  • Date: 30 May – 3 June 2022
  • Venue: Messe München

The EU Circular Economy Action Plan of March 2020 made one thing quite clear again: circular economy is not nice to have, but a must-have. The declared goal: a carbon-neutral, ecologically sustainable, and pollution-free circular economy by 2050. And what are the solutions that make a decisive contribution here? IFAT 2022—the world’s leading trade fair for environmental technologies—offers you a comprehensive overview.

Circular economy instead of throwaway society

How do we manage the transformation from a throwaway society to a holistic circular economy that addresses the entire life cycle of products? IFAT is addressing this question in accordance with the European Green Deal. Because the EU alone produces more than 2.5 billion tons of waste each year—with a recycling rate of electrical and electronic waste that is below 40 percent.

In charge: all of us

Packaging recycling is also extremely lagging behind. Germans generate more than 220 kilograms of packaging waste per capita per year. That’s why consumers, organizations and policymakers are calling on the industry to provide more sustainable packaging and better recycling.

More recycling through participation fees

In Germany, the new Packaging Act has been in force since January 1, 2019. Manufacturers and retailers will be held more accountable by paying for the collection and recycling of their packaging. The amount of the payments—the so-called participation fees—are based on the type of material and mass, and on ecological criteria. The aim is to create incentives for manufacturers to use materials with a high recycled content. Our expert presentations will provide you with more information on the Green Deal, ecological participation fees and an integrated product policy with best practice examples.

Chemical recycling and ecology—a contradiction?

In chemical or raw materials recycling, plastic waste is depolymerized. After treatment, the resulting products can be used in the chemical industry or plastics production.

An ecological evaluation is still pending. Although the higher energy and additive consumption of chemical recycling may make it inferior to mechanical recycling in ecological and economic terms, it offers a viable alternative for plastic waste that cannot be recycled. The debate is gaining momentum—also in our supporting program.

Process world plastics recycling

Plastics recycling is a complex process, which VDMA’s Waste Treatment and Recycling Association will bring to life at IFAT 2022. Its themed world in Hall B5 will illustrate the various stages of plastic recycling by following a used shampoo bottle on its way from the disposal to its ‘rebirth’ as a new packaging material.

Best practice circular economy – The material flow of plastics

Together with member companies, industry partners and the German Association for Plastic Packaging and Films (IK), the Federal Association of the German Waste, Water and Raw Materials Management Industry (BDE) will present best-practice examples of recycling management in Hall A6. They will present the diversity of materials and approaches to solutions in plastics treatment—accompanied by lectures, discussions and talks also with plastics critics.