Plastic-Packaging – Carpet-recycling 28-05-2022
Plastic-Packaging – Carpet-recycling
Interface Polymers and Flexipol have jointly won funding through a competition run by UKRI’s Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging challenge.
The £850,000 grant is to finance the 24-month collaborative project, titled ‘Recycle Ready’ multi-layer barrier plastic packaging films, to provide fully recyclable LDPE multi-layer packaging, suitable for upcycling into high value applications.
This project brings together Interface Polymers’ internationally patented and proven surface functionality Polarfin additive technology that overcomes inherent molecular level non-compatibility between polyolefins to enable them to be recycled, and Flexipol’s film technology expertise and flexible packaging manufacturing capabilities.
The project team is also looking to provide multi-layer barrier packaging options with a minimum of 30 per cent recycled material that will not incur the £200 per tonne plastic packaging tax being introduced in the UK from April 2022.
In addition to legislative pressure, the project is looking to address a major packaging industry dilemma due to growing socioeconomic pressure for more sustainable product alternatives, such as mono-layer plastic packaging; while recyclable (ASTM D7611 RIC “4” & “5” classified), mono-layer flexible packaging cannot deliver the same level of functionality performance and product benefits provided by multi-layer barrier plastic packaging. The new Recycle Ready range will enable packaging manufacturers to offer retailers and consumers technically superior multi-layer barrier packaging products that will meet RIC “4” and “5” classifications, so will be 100 per cent recyclable. Plastic-Packaging – Carpet-recycling
The project’s key aim is to offer the packaging industry fully scalable alternative LDPE multi-layer barrier films for the commercial production of food approved multi-layer flexible packaging that can be repeatedly recycled using existing pure plastic waste streams sorting and separation processing plants.
Dr Tim Clayfield, Application Development Leader for Interface Polymers, said: “We are confident that together with Flexipol’s packaging expertise and processing capabilities, the project team can develop a range of RIC “4” labelled, fully recyclable food approved multi-layer barrier flexible plastic packaging products with no anisotropy issues, which can be reprocessed multiple times into high value recycled product applications.”
CAP Group is testing the process as part of the Circular Biocarbon project.
The biopolymer produced in an innovative BioPlatform would be used by Novamont. Producing bioplastics and biofertilizers starting from sewage sludge and the wet fraction of waste (Forsu): this is the goal of the Circular Biocarbon project, launched last year with the financing of the public-private consortium BBI-JU, which involves the Sesto San Giovanni, in the province of Milan (still in the design phase, rendering in the photo), and the sister plant in Zaragoza, Spain.
The biopolymers (polyhydroxyalcanonate, PHA) and the minerals (struvite) obtained from the process could be subsequently used for the synthesis of bioplastics, fertilizers with biostimulating properties and graphene for industrial use.
The research project provides for investments of 23 million euros, of which 2.5 assigned to the CAP Group, manager of the integrated water service of the metropolitan city of Milan and promoter of the new Italian BioPlatform.
The Lombard utility has undertaken in its laboratories the validation of an already existing technology for the treatment of sewage sludge and Forsu conferred by 6 Lombard municipalities, equal to about 30 thousand tons per year.
After an initial phase of study – says the CAP Group -, the processes could be operational in 2023: when fully operational, starting from 2024, it is expected to recover over 500 tons of PHA per year to be conferred to Novamont as part of a partnership multi-year started in 2018. Plastic-Packaging – Carpet-recycling
Struvite instead will be used as part of a partnership with the French company Agro Innovation International for the production of fertilizers with biostimulating properties.
Once the technology has been fine-tuned, the BioPlatform Model can be replicated in other areas of the country, with a view to accompanying modern smart cities towards a sustainable bioeconomy.
“These technologies and processes blend perfectly with the idea that led the CAP Group to create the BioPlatform, the first example of zero-emission industrial synergy – explains Alessandro Russo, president and CEO of the CAP Group
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Plastic-Packaging – Carpet-recycling