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The European recycling industry is preparing for larger volumes of post- use flexible polyolefin films becoming available. AMI Consulting writes about its new market report


A new report from AMI Consulting published in June 2021 presents a comprehensive analysis of the state of play and future outlook for the recycling of flexible polyolefin films in Europe. It analyses the industry’s operating environment, and the particular challenges involved in the collection, sorting and recycling of flexible films.


In preparing the report, AMI’s detailed in-house data on virgin polymer demand, polymer end use applications, and recycling capacities was combined with an extensive research programme including conversations with a wide range of industry participants.


The quantitative analysis includes a focus on volumes of post-use flexible polyolefin films generated as waste by end use sector, and an assessment of the volumes of post-use films available to EU+3 recyclers as inputs into the recycling extrusion process. The latter data point is of particular importance


given it marks the new calculation point for the EU’s recycling targets. Data is provided for the years 2019, 2020 and 2021, with forecasts for 2025 and 2030.


The report also identifies the top six countries in terms of recycling capacity for flexible polyolefin films in Europe, as well as the region’s top ten film recyclers. This is complemented by a detailed analysis of existing and emerging end use applications for the outputs of the recycling process, providing data for 2020, 2025, and 2030.


The quantitative analysis is accompanied by a detailed assessment of the industry’s changing operating environment and the implications these changes have for the industry’s future development. AMI’s report analyses the evolving legislative environment and explores the current collection and sorting processes for different types of flexible polyolefin films and how they impact upon volumes and quality of post-use


films available for recycling. It also looks at definitions of ‘recyclability’ and the solutions market participants across the value chain are working on to achieve it. Technological innovations and the role chemical recycling can play to increase recycling rates for flexible films form further parts of the analysis.


With deadlines for meeting EU recycling targets approaching the recycling industry needs a clear commitment to investments into Europe’s collection & recycling infrastructure for flexible films. There is significant potential to increase the volume of post- use films made available for recycling, and to produce higher quality recyclates suitable for a broader range of end use applications.


For further information please contact: Silke Einschütz, Consultant Recycling & Sustainability, AMI Consulting +44 (0)117 311 1532 silke.einschuetz@ ami.international


End use application shares for recyclate produced from post-use flexible polyolefin films 2020


Agricultural Films 10%


Rigid applications 43%


Building & construction film 5%


Carrier bags 5%


Heavy duty sacks 3%


Other bags & sacks & films 11%


Refuse sacks 13%


Stretch film 2%


Shrink film 8%


© AMI, 2021


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Recycling of Flexible Polyolefin Films in Europe 2021


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