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.