Latest independent testing proves Penn Color’s ‘66UV11964’ UV blocker as compatible with the clear transparent and coloured PET bottle recycling streams in Europe.
UV light exposure can induce the degradation of specific vitamins, flavours, colorants, and additives, resulting in diminished potency and a shortened shelf life. Penn Color’s ‘66UV11964” UV blocker can be used in PET bottles to safeguard UV-sensitive contents against photodegradation when exposed to direct light, thereby protecting essential product characteristics like aroma, flavour, and colour. Recyclability evaluation was carried out to ensure that the additive does not cause yellowing on the PET matrix during the recycling process. EU recycling targets
Trials were carried out at Plastic Forming Enterprises (PFE) following the Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for PET bottles from EPBP, and results show that no significant deviations were observed on the quality of the produced recyclates. The stated approval is valid under the condition that the concentration of the UV stabiliser does not exceed 0.6 wt% in a PET bottle.
Following this process, Penn Color’s technology will be integrated within the RecyClass Online Tool and will also be considered within the scope of RecyClass Recyclability Certifications for plastic packaging. EU recycling targets
In general, the use of additives in the PET stream has caused issues for recycling due to the subsequent yellowing of the final recycled materials. What this approval shows to the industry is that with innovation it is possible to limit or avoid such adverse impacts on recyclates – and, therefore, move closer to a circular plastic future.
Environmentally friendly microcapsules made from biopolymers
Biopolymers as shells for microcapsules will be the focus of a workshop on November 16, 2023, at the Fraunhofer Conference Center at the Potsdam Science Park. Biodegradable polymers and natural materials ensure manufacturers and users of microcapsules get their products approved under the EU Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH). Experts from the Fraunhofer Technology Platform Microencapsulation will discuss how to apply natural raw materials to manufacture environmentally friendly microcapsules. The network concentrates current findings and identifies new opportunities for the use of microcapsules. EU recycling targets
In the future, new regulations in the European Union will prohibit the sale of products that contain intentionally added conventional microplastics and release them during use. Transitional periods of four to twelve years apply to applications in cosmetics, fertilizers, as well as detergents and cleaning agents. Natural materials and biodegradable polymers are key for products to not be subject to such regulations. EU recycling targets
“We are developing biodegradable microcapsules that are functional and cost-effective,” emphasizes Dr. Alexandra Latnikova, an expert in microencapsulation at Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP. For this, a deep understanding of polymer and particle formation processes is essential Latnikova adds. Microcapsules, for example, efficiently protect active ingredients and allow for targeted release. They thus improve the effectiveness and durability of products. The desired functionality of microcapsules often contradicts the requirements for rapid biodegradability in many applications. Parameters such as availability, stable quality, price, and sustainable sourcing of capsule wall materials also determine the basis for environmentally friendly microcapsules.
Developing new materials to meet these requirements is a focus of the scientists at Fraunhofer IAP. EU recycling targets
“All these parameters must be met to obtain solutions with high market potential. In recent years, we have seen a great interest in chemically cross-linkable, water-soluble polymers. These polymers save the use of solvents and avoid new investments, as it allows to use existing equipment. Water-soluble cellulose sulfate and aqueous nanocellulose dispersions are good examples,” adds Dr. Latnikova.
Producing new plastic by advanced recycling of post-use plastic (PUP), instead of fossil-based production, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and increase the U.S. recycling rate, according to research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory. The peer-reviewed life cycle analysis study appears in the November 2023 issue of Journal of Cleaner Production. EU recycling targets
This is the first analysis of multiple U.S. facilities taking PUP all the way to new plastics again. Specifically, the new plastics are low-density and high-density polyethylene (LDPE and HDPE, respectively). The recycling process used is pyrolysis, whereby plastics are heated to high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment. The main product is pyrolysis oil, a liquid mix of various compounds that can be an ingredient in new plastic. The oil can replace fossil ingredients like naphtha and gases to manufacture ethylene and propylene. They are two important monomers, or building blocks, for plastic production. EU recycling targets
“Advanced recycling can transform hard-to-recycle plastics into a multitude of high-value raw materials, reducing the need for fossil resources and potentially minimizing the environmental impact of waste management.” — Pahola Thathiana Benavides, Argonne principal energy systems analyst
The study collected 2017-2021 operating data from eight companies with varying pyrolysis oil production processes. The analysis shows an 18% to 23% decrease in GHG emissions when making plastic with just 5% pyrolysis oil from PUP compared to crude oil-derived LDPE and HDPE, respectively. EU recycling targets
When factoring in current end-of-life practices for many plastics in the U.S., such as incineration, there is a further 40% to 50% reduction in GHG emissions when manufacturing pyrolysis-based LDPE and HDPE, respectively, according to the analysis. Reductions are much higher (up to 131%) in the European Union as more PUP is currently incinerated.
“As advanced recycling becomes increasingly efficient, it is poised to play a major role in achieving global sustainability goals by reducing waste and GHG emissions,” said Argonne Principal Energy Systems Analyst Pahola Thathiana Benavides, a study author. ”It can transform hard-to-recycle plastics into a multitude of high-value raw materials, reducing the need for fossil resources and potentially minimizing the environmental impact of waste management.” EU recycling targets