Recyclability composite
(*Honnertzwanzeg Sekonnen - 120 seconds – presents essential information concerning packaging and can be read in under 2 minutes. The content will be focusing on news concerning packaging that are relevant to you as a member of Valorlux.)


Some flexible and multi-layer packaging, such as crisps bags, coffee and loose tea packets, are composed of different materials. Even tough composite packaging can be interesting to use for the storage of foods, its use has a negative impact on the recycling rate. Big quantities of these packaging materials are put on the Luxembourg market every year and they are neither collected, nor recycled.


Are there recycling branches for composite packaging?


There is currently no recycling branch for composite packaging, as recycling branches are intended for mono-material packaging. Composite packaging is made up of 3 to 6 layers that are glued together and that are difficult, or even impossible, to separate to allow for mechanical recycling of each component.


Another downside of composite packaging is that it cannot be reused.


However, the principles of the European Union stipulate that all packaging will have to be produced sustainably and be easily recyclable or reusable by 2030.


Overview of some EU obligations


In conjunction with the shift of the measuring point of the recycling rate (mor information in our 1st newsletter – in French), the Directive (EU) 2018/852 on packaging and packaging waste has introduced a new element into the reporting of the packaging that is put on the European market: each component that makes up more than 5% of the total mass of the packaging will have to be reported separately.


In 2030, 60% of plastic packaging waste will have to be recycled in the European Union, compared to 22.5% today. In 2019, 41% of plastic packaging waste was recycled on average in Europe. Here are the required recycling rates for each material:


Materials Current rates 2025 2030
Glas 60% 70% 75%
Paper/cardboard 60% 75% 85%
Plastic 22.5% 50% 60%
Ferrous metals 50% 70% 80%
Aluminum 50% 50% 60%
Wood 15% 25% 30%




In order to allow for (better) recycling and/or a reduction of production of these types of packaging, here are a few possible solutions:


  • Eco-design the packaging
  • Use mono-materials. New mono-material packaging is currently in development to replace packaging that is usually multi-material, which would make them recyclable. The use of mono-materials would also put the packaging in a more favourable “green dot” rate. The rate for “other recoverable packaging” is 0.9406 €/kg, which is one of the two highest rates in the table (with “other non-recoverable packaging).
  • Allow consumers to refill the original packaging.


Your Valorlux team




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