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Is there hope for flexible packaging?

Plastic recycling technology provider Recycling Technologies (RT) has joined forces with energy company Total and global brands Nestlé and Mars to find a second-life solution for ‘complex’ food packaging.

The project partners aim to develop an innovative industrial chemical recycling industry in France. A major objective is to examine the technical and economic feasibility of recycling flexible and multi-layered food-grade packaging. These products are currently considered non-recyclable and most are either incinerated or landfilled.

RT will provide trial volumes of its patented Plaxx oil, derived from plastic scrap processed at its plant in Swindon (UK), as feedstock to be further processed into new polymers.

‘The project will showcase the strength of our unique technology to recycle mixed low-grade plastic waste into valuable feedstock for polymer producers,’ says Elena Parisi, RT’s sales & marketing director. She is confident the recycled polymer will ensure supply of virgin quality food-grade plastics to the packaging sector.

‘We are delighted to be the technology provider for this project,’ Parisi adds. ‘This partnership is a great example of the industry working together to bring about the changes necessary to make plastic sustainable. We must carve out a clear pathway that others in the value chain will follow to boost plastic recycling capacity in France and elsewhere.’

For Total, Bernard Pinatel, president, refining & chemicals, comments, ‘By addressing the circular economy challenges of food-grade plastics, chemical recycling is a perfect addition to our existing mechanical recycling activities. The project is an important step in our ambition to produce 30% recycled polymers by 2030.’

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