Whether we like it or not, plastic packaging has become an integral part of our everyday lives. But the enormous consumption gobbles up raw materials and energy - and leaves behind huge mountains of waste.
The realCYCLE project wants to change that. Made possible by the Migros Pioneer Fund, it aims to understand and align the entire value chain of plastic packaging as a cycle. A prerequisite for a functioning cycle is the coordinated interaction of all steps - from packaging design and production to the recycling industry and raw materials trading. To ensure this, realCYCLE brings all the players in the value chain to the same table and provides them with the knowledge they need to work together in a way that is compatible with the cycle.
In addition, realCYCLE initiates pilot projects that show what the recycling of plastic packaging could look like in concrete terms in a circular future, and defines quality standards for the reprocessing of plastics in cooperation with industry partners.
Thanks to realCYCLE's holistic approach, old packaging will become new packaging in the future. This conserves resources and reduces waste mountains.
From linear to circular collaboration
The realCYCLE project is thus accelerating the shift to an actual, sustainable and high-quality plastics circular economy in Switzerland and making recycling simpler, more transparent, less polluting and more marketable - with the aim of reducing the environmental impact of plastics and optimizing the environmental benefits of the cycle.
Where plastic products and packaging are essential due to e.g. product protection (shelf life, hygiene) or other requirements and cannot be avoided, realCYCLE creates the conditions for them to be managed and kept in a sustainable, high-quality and low-pollutant cycle, i.e. to actually become recyclable or circular and for it not to remain pure theory.
realCYCLE - well networked and embedded in a dynamic environment
realCYCLE - an innovative project of REDILO GmbH (since 2023: realcycle GmbH)
The realCYCLE project dealt with four main topics.
Together with stakeholders in the plastics value chain, various pilot projects are being conceptualized and implemented. In addition, the systemic requirements and framework conditions for scalability will be examined. Real possibilities will be identified to enable a nationwide and sustainable plastics circular economy in Switzerland. The links below will take you to the five pilot projects.
All companies and organizations, i.e. stakeholders in the plastics value chain, who also care about a sustainable and high-quality plastics circular economy and who would like to get involved in putting it into practice, were able to participate in the project. Through the broad exchange of information between all interested stakeholders (CYCLEtalks), in-depth participation in one of the focus groups or active involvement in a pilot project, stakeholders were able to influence the elaboration of appropriate frameworks and the development of tools for practical implementation. This ensured that the actual functioning of a sustainable and high-quality plastics circular economy was tailored to your needs, the industry environment and also to optimized environmental benefits.
By the end of the project in December 2022, 110 institutions, or 162 individuals, had registered with realCYLCE.