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Petcore Europe Tracer Workshop in Brussels - How to improve post-consumer plastics sorting efficiency

Petcore Europe Tracer Workshop in Brussels - How to improve post-consumer plastics sorting efficiency



Petcore Europe - in collaboration with Procter & Gamble - brought together 100 participants from the PET industry, research facilities and the media for its first Tracer Workshop in Brussels. The event gave an overview on current active tracer projects and intended to stimulate a cross-industry discussion on how to harmonise the use of tracers in plastics packaging materials. The focus lied on PET as a start, intending to create a precedent for other plastics later on.

 “Petcore Europe organised this first workshop together with Procter & Gamble, a member of our association and a leader also on sustainable packaging, which is at the heart of our own objectives,” outlines Patrick Peuch, Executive Director of Petcore Europe. “Our view is that industry decision makers - such as the brand owners - should be made aware of these possibilities at an early stage so that they can be integrated in their longer-term planning. Our event does not represent a “beauty contest” between different projects. All solutions that were presented today, including our own EU funded and Petcore Europe led Polymark project, are welcome if they bring concrete solutions.”

Gian De Belder, responsible for sustainable packaging development at P&G and Life+ programme Manager for an EU-funded tracer project, opened the conference and addressed the full value chain audience by explaining the need for a recycling barcode to achieve improved sorting efficiencies (one of the key criteria required for achieving circular economies). Afterwards in total, six projects were presented at various stages of development, providing a range of future potential solutions for this important issue. Most of them are based on specific optical tracers and one on digital watermarks.

The workshop papers can be ordered by non-participants, who can also register to be kept informed on future events, by contacting Eva Schneider, Petcore Europe Communications Officer, via

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About Petcore Europe

Petcore Europe is the association representing the complete PET value chain in Europe since 1993.

Its mission is to ensure that the entire PET industry is well aligned to enhance its value and sustainable growth, to represent the PET industry before the European institutions and other stakeholders, to ensure that PET is positioned as an outstanding packaging material and recognised as environmentally sound, to support and validate innovative packaging solutions from a recycling perspective, and to work with all interested parties to ensure a continuous increase of PET post-consumer collection and recycling.

PET (PolyEthylene Terephthalate) is a strong but lightweight form of polyester. It is used to make containers for soft drinks, juices, drinks, water, edible oil, fresh food and dairy as well as household cleaners and other non-food applications. PET bottles and food containers, such as sheets and trays are perfectly recyclable while they help to reduce CO2 emissions and food waste.

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