At PANARA, we were already thinking about the environmental impact of plastic production and consumption at a time when plastic waste was yet not at the forefront of experts’ interest. Gradually, this topic became one of the priorities of the world economy, and in 2018 the European Union adopted a strategy on plastics in the circular economy. Its implementation met with a strong resistance from lobbyists. Therefore, a solution used in practice is a compromise between commerce and ecology.
At PANARA, we take this very seriously. We support plastic recycling, as it effectively reduces the amount of plastic waste. However, we know that recycling is not the only and sustainable solution, as it is often presented.
Plastic waste is used to source new recyclate for the production of recycled plastics. In the end, however, we are still left with some plastic waste. Plastic cannot be recycled indefinitely. Over time, recyclates degrade strongly and can no longer be used. Recycling helps to reduce the amount of plastic waste in the present, but leaves the problem for future generations.
We take this issue very seriously. That’s why we set ourselves the goal of achieving realistic environmental solutions based on our patented NonOilen material.
We do not reject recycling, although it is extremely energy-intensive. However, we think the future lies in bioplastics made from renewable resources. Therefore, we do not want to join the multitude of manufacturers of so-called bioplastics or compostable plastics, who praise the “bio-properties” of their product, but do not provide all the information about its origin, or the conditions under which it can be disposed of.
In 2021, the European Environmental Agency defined three areas for the sustainable management of plastics, which must be interconnected:
- More efficient handling of plastics and the concept of repeated use
- Increase in the level of plastic recycling
- Reduction of the sector’s dependence on fossil fuels by transitioning to the use of materials produced from renewable sources.
Each area relates to a different phase of the plastics life cycle. This is exactly the approach, whose principles PANARA adopted a long time ago.