Mechanical recycling of polyolefin packaging
The goal this programme is to improve the quality of mechanically recycled polyolefin packaging. Two showcases will close the chain through improved design of materials and products, develop sorting and waste technologies specific to this class, and develop pilots for mechanical recycling.
Showcase: HDPE /PP packaging
Recycled HDPE from both food (dairy products) and non-food (personal hygiene) packaging is currently in limited use due to its low quality.
This showcase addresses bottlenecks surrounding the implementation of mechanically recycled HDPE/PP in food applications at various points in the chain:
- What is the best way to make packaging safe for food applications?
- How can we monitor the system from a food perspective?
- Can food safety be demonstrated across the value chain, and what is required to do so?
- How is the PP system affected by introducing food-grade rPP?
Showcase: (L)LDPE film
Flexible household film (composed largely of LDPE and LLDPE) is currently recycled at a paltry 17% in the EU. More than 50% of flexible post-consumer bales are exported. The tonnages that remain in the EU are used in robust applications such as garbage bags.
The showcase puts into practice the enhanced recycling of post-consumer films, i.e. LDPE and LLDPE. By going beyond the current state of the art, larger quantities will be provided with sufficient quality for inclusion in new products.
The integrated pilot line validates newly developed materials and products and shows how such innovations behave in actual recycling lines and what barriers remain to be overcome (for flexible materials).
The showcase aims to go from theoretically recyclable to actually recycled.