Management of packaging and graphic paper waste

By 2030, the operational system gradually set up over the past 20 years or more to collect, sort and recycle packaging and paper in the public waste management service should respond to the major changes in waste characteristics and the objectives sought in an effort to save resources.

Main findings:
  • The excess costs incurred through the nationwide adoption of several collection schemes could be curbed by looking for synergies in the sorting of the corresponding flows.
  • Collection based on a scheme that separates fibrous (paper and cardboard packaging and graphic paper) and non-fibrous (plastic and metal packaging) waste at the source, and, to a lesser extent, a graphic paper/packaging scheme, could be a relevant organization compared to a multi-material collection system (mixed collection of graphic paper and packaging, excluding glass) for regions where the corresponding waste containers could be set up.
  • Greater industrialization of sorting processes, involving automated sorting centers and an increase in their average size, would reduce costs and enhance performance. This boost in the average capacity of sorting units should ultimately reduce their numbers by half.
  • For multi-material collection schemes, a two-phase sorting organization, with an initial simplified sorting process followed by the use of specialized units could represent, depending on the region and the size of the facility, an appropriate organization compared to single-phase sorting.