Packaging plastics can offer an almost infinite range of options for manufacturers, both in terms of function and design. Their durability and resistance to degradation means that if they ‘leak’ into the environment, they stay there. Leakage has been increasing rapidly and its detrimental impact, especially on the marine environment, has attracted wide public and political concern.
EASAC established in 2018 an Expert Group to look at scientific aspects of plastics packaging and the circular economy. This report is the result of an 18-month investigation and reviews the negative consequences of the current linear economy for plastic packaging, the scope for improvement towards a more circular pattern and options for increasing recycling rates and reducing leakage into the environment.