Food and Beverage Business

Advancing Circular Strategies for Food Plastic Packaging: The STOPP Project

Advancing Circular Strategies for Food Plastic Packaging: The STOPP Project circular strategies, food, plastic packaging", project, STOPP Food and Beverage Business

SIRE and the EU have established a partnership to launch the STOPP Initiative, with the goal of promoting sustainable food packaging and reducing plastic waste. The project aims to create a new food packaging value chain based on the “5 Rs”: Refuse, Reduce, Redesign, Reuse, and Recycle, aligning with the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive and its ambitious targets to decrease packaging waste by 2030.

The STOPP Initiative will engage all stakeholders in the food packaging value chain, from the plastic and agri-food industries to end users, food retailers, and policymakers. It will focus on developing circular strategies for plastic usage and processing, as well as implementing awareness campaigns involving various stakeholders. Specific actions will include analyzing the impact of plastic waste on different ecosystems, monitoring current plastic usage in the food packaging industry, creating a sustainable business model, enhancing recycling efforts, and conducting a customer voice study.

The project aims to lead Europe’s transition to a more sustainable use of food packaging while maintaining food safety standards. Over a period of 36 months, fourteen partners from seven countries will collaborate to maximize the project’s efforts and results. These outcomes are intended to provide a foundation for the European decision-making process on plastic usage in the food value chain and are in line with the European Green Deal.

Plastic Recyclers Europe has estimated that nearly 10 million tonnes of polypropylene and high-density polyethene, the most common plastics used for food packaging, are wasted annually. To address this issue, sustainable and intelligent plastic usage strategies need to be implemented throughout the value chain. While some companies are incentivizing customers to reuse packaging, there is still room for improvement in this area. Additionally, consumer attitudes toward recycling need to be addressed, as self-reported practices may not accurately reflect real-life behaviors.

In summary, the STOPP Initiative represents a significant step toward achieving sustainable food packaging and reducing plastic waste in the EU. By collaborating with stakeholders across the food packaging value chain, the project aims to create lasting and positive change in the industry.

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