European consortium Ceflex (Brussels / Belgium; www.ceflex.eu
), representing more than 160 organisations working in flexible packaging across Europe, has demonstrated the market potential for a new Quality Recycling Process (QRP) for flexible packaging, which has been developed in the consortiums Sustainable End Markets workstream. Dana Mosora, workstream lead, said, Our trials have shown good yields and delivered recyclate quality suitable to replace virgin polymer grades in a number of demanding film and flexible packaging applications.
The teams aim was to deliver commercial quantities of polyethylene and polypropylene film-quality recyclates for non-food flexible packaging markets that are currently not open to household-collected post-consumer flexible recyclates. Thus far, the QRP demonstrates the following:
- Recycling back to a range of non-food flexible packaging is possible, including more demanding applications through mechanical recycling.
- The process produces film grade quality rPE and rPP polymers suitable for non-food flexible packaging by applying near infrared sorting by polymer and colour, followed by hot washing and extrusion with extra filtration and deodorisation.
- Film grade recyclates for natural rPE and all colour rPP can be obtained at good product yield and quality as well as with mechanical and processing properties, which make these materials suitable for replacement of virgin polymer grades.
Ceflex workstream is planning industrial trials to support the business case for investment in infrastructure. Data from industrial trials running in 2020-2021 will assess the economic viability of the process. In 2020, the consortium had called for flexible packaging to be made from recyclable mono-materials, to accelerate the drive towards a circular economy (see Plasteurope.com of 24.09.2020