Favorable life-cycle data and backing by Greiner Packaging UK, Unilever, and other companies support the next step in commercializing food-grade rPP.
Using Nextek’s two core technologies, PolyPRISM for sorting and PPristine for decontamination, an assessment that focused on the greenhouse gas (GHG) savings was conducted by the Natural Resources Institute at London’s University of Greenwich. PolyPRISM is the development of invisible UV-fluorescent markers used on the labels that, once placed on food-grade packaging, can be used to sort food from non-food packaging. PPristine is a two-stage process to decontaminate PP in the melt and solid state to remove any residual chemicals. The current data relating to the manufacture of virgin PP indicates GHG emissions of 2,000 to 3,000kg per tonne of polymer produced.
By contrast, the mechanical recycling process of the Nextek technologies saves up to 80% of virgin PP production emissions; in fact, early estimations are 324kg CO2 per tonne of food-grade recycled PP (FGrPP). This is broken down as 35.0kg from transport, 81.5kg from the sorting and washing process, and 207.5kg from the extrusion and decontamination stage.