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Brazil increases polymer and aluminium recovery from cartons

Packaging solutions provider SIG is investing EUR 1.7 million in innovative recycling technology to enhance the recovery of polymers and aluminium from used aseptic multilayer carton packs. This will enable recycled materials to be sold separately on an industrial scale in Brazil.

By expanding the range of applications for recycled materials from used aseptic cartons, SIG expects to increase their value by more than 50%.

SIG’s recycling plant uses advanced technology to separate polyethylene from aluminium in polyaluminium (or PolyAl) to create a wider market and demand for these recycled materials. Developed over five years with project partner ECS Consulting, the new technology has undergone a pilot project that proved the effectiveness of the chemical recycling process.

The new plant is currently under construction in the state of Paraná and is expected to begin operating in 2024 with an initial production capacity of 200 tonnes per month. With industry partners, SIG has also invested in a plant in Germany to separate polymers and aluminium from PolyAl that went into production in 2021.

The renewable paper board that makes up around 75% of aseptic carton packs can be separated for recycling in paper mills through Brazil’s existing recycling infrastructure. The polyethylene and aluminium mix left over from this process can be recycled into a robust material for roofing, pallets and furniture.

‘We are excited to bring to Brazil a new technology that will enable separation of aluminium and polyethylene layers from carton packs, thereby expanding the market for these materials and generating more value from the separated waste,’ says Ricardo Rodriguez, president and general manager for SIG Americas. ‘This project is the latest in a series of innovative collaborations led by SIG to boost collection and recycling rates for used aseptic cartons and grow the recycling chain in a sustainable way.’

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