2/11/2019

There’s great interest in sustainable plastics

Sustainability is a natural part of everything Trioplast does. Our products should meet the tough demands of the market while leaving as little environmental footprint as possible. A recent project by four students at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm focused on sustainable packaging for hygiene products.

“We’ve learned a lot. We’ve come to realise that the plastics industry is complex, as is plastic itself as a material. Recycling plastic is more complicated than we thought,” say Aina Griksaite, Mikaela Larsell Ayesa, Therese Nylander and Mimmi Isacsson Larsson, who are studying mechanical engineering at KTH.

Trioplast worked with the four students from the mechanical engineering course at KTH on a project involving innovation and product development. The aim was to develop packaging for hygiene products with a focus on the environment and sustainability.

“There are a lot of laws and regulations to take into consideration, not least when it comes to packaging for hygiene products. That makes it more difficult to switch to recycled materials,” explain the students.

One of their conclusions is that there is a need for a system that allows sustainable products to be produced more easily from recycled plastic.

“The current standards and rules are complex. It’s important to benefit those who work towards a more sustainable society, while at the same time consumers must be able to rely on the products,” say the students.

During the course of the project the students found out that there is great interest in sustainable plastics and that awareness among end-users is increasing.

“There’s a lot to do if we are to create a more sustainable society. We have to make it easier for consumers both to choose sustainable plastics – for example, through eco-labelling such as Trioloop – and to recycle their plastic packaging,” say the students.

The project has also raised much thought what sustainability actually means.

“It’s not just about the material itself. A company can be sustainable in so many different ways – for example by using green electricity or environmentally friendly materials, or by working with circular economy. We’ve become much more critical of products that are marketed as sustainable,” say the students.

How do they see the plastics industry of the future?

“In 10 years more or less all plastic will be based on renewable raw materials or recycled plastic. Recycling systems will have been developed and optimised to make it easy for consumers to recycle while the producers will be able to make high quality recycled plastic.”