France Starts Research Project on Recyclability

The COTREP (Centre de ressources et d’expertise sur la recyclabilité des emballages ménagers en plastiques en France) signed a convention with the "Centre Technique Industriel de la Plasturgie et des Composites (IPC)" to improve the recyclability of flexible plastic packaging.

Citeo, Elipso and Valorplast are part of COTREP. Citeo, Elipso and Valorplast have a common goal to recover 100% packaging and develop a sustainable flexible plastic recycling business in France.

PE flexible packaging is already recycled in France, while PP and PET not yet. The first project (partnership with IPC) will focus on “eco-design” and improving recyclability.

To achieve this objective of 100% recyclable packaging, a test line will be set up to focus on eco-design.

There are two types of flexible plastic packaging in France:

  • 120,000 tonnes of PE (polyethylene): wrap films, plastic wrap around plastic bottles, frozen vegetable packaging and shopping bags.
  • 160,000 tonnes of other plastic resins such as PP (polypropylene): cereal bars, pet food or even chips.

Most common obstacles to recycling:

  • The use of non-PE materials.
  • The combination of different types of plastics (eg PET and PE).
  • The presence of metal layers.
  • Adhesives

The partnership with IPC will assess the impact of these different design choices and help companies bring recyclable packaging to the market.

Small capacity recycling lines will be set up in Oyonnax (Ain) and Alençon (Orne). The aim of these “test” lines will be to test and study the feasibility of recycling and to provide feedback to the recyclers.

The budget of the project is 400 000 € and will start in September 2019 over a period 24 months. Progress report will be shared regularly with the stakeholders.


Emballages plastiques souples : lancement d’un programme de recherche pour améliorer leur recyclabilité


  • France seems to be starting the engine on recycling. Is this a wise? Shouldn’t this have been done 20 years ago?
  • France is taking a different course than California and Germany.
  • California are shutting down their recycling facilities and the German recycling industry is at the bring of bankruptcy. German retailers are setting up their own recycling plants (Lidl)



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