Packaging plastics in the circular economy
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. Currently, the amount of plastic entering the environment far exceeds that which is recycled, with large quantities being exported from Europe to low and middle-income countries that do not have appropriate disposal or recycling facilities: this "low-cost option" is wholly unethical and unsustainable.