This report, commissioned by The Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) examines the potential of pyrolysis technologies, as a complement to mechanical recycling, to recycle film and flexible packaging (FFP) back into plastic resins to be remanufactured into new plastic products.  The study details the opportunities for increased  FFP recovery volumes, the logistics and costs necessary to get materials to pyrolysis and other reprocessor markets, as well as the package design and policy necessary for change.

FFP packaging is a significant and growing packaging segment and includes a broad array of snack packaging, pouches, bread bags and many other applications. While the challenges and potential opportunities for recycling FFP packaging have been discussed for nearly a decade, the industry is now at an inflection point for these materials. Several countries and U.S. states are setting recycling goals for FFP, and numerous brand companies have publicly committed to producing only reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging by 2030. While over 1.1 billion pounds of polyethylene film were recovered for recycling in 2021 (Stina Inc), the vast majority of flexible film packaging is not recycled.

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