A trio of companies - Swiss dairy company Emmi, Borealis and Greiner packaging - has successfully launched the first ready-to-drink iced coffee drinking cups based on chemically recycled polypropylene.
The rPP was produced by Borealis, while the cup is a solution from Greiner Packaging.
Currently, only limited quantities of chemically recycled polypropylene - part of Borealis’ Borcycle C portfolio - are available. Emmi’s early commitment and long-standing collaboration with the development companies ensured that it became one of a select group of food manufacturers to have been allotted a share of the material.
The Swiss milk processor has a stated goal to make all of its packaging 100% recyclable - a goal it is pursuing in a stepwise manner through various measures. These include the use of packaging that contains at least 30% recyclate by 2027.
To that end, the company has partnered with Greiner and Borealis on this initial step of the journey with the creation of its first product packaging in which chemically recycled PP has been incorporated. The injected-moulded cup contains 30% Borcycle C chemically recycled PP.
As Bendicht Zaugg, who is responsible for Sustainable Packaging at Emmi, rightly pointed out, "It takes joint efforts by food and packaging manufacturers to reduce waste and make measurable progress in the circular economy.”
From September 2021 onward, the company’s Emmi Caffè Latte brand of chilled coffee drinks will be sold in the new packaging, resulting in the use of at least 100 tonnes of plastic based on the recycled material each year.
The resin, produced by Borealis, is based on the chemical recycling of difficult to recycle plastic waste. Using pyrolysis technology, the waste is returned to a feedstock product from which a recycled PP can be made with a purity level equivalent to virgin PP; in other words, suitable for food contact and other demanding applications.
Not only does it give polyolefin-based, post-consumer waste another life, it offers all-round benefits enabling the transition to a circular polyolefin industry whilst creating virgin quality plastic products, noted Trevor Davis, Head of Marketing, Consumer Products at Borealis.
The chemically recycled material used for Emmi Caffè Latte cup consists entirely and solely of ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) material, on a mass balance basis.
The technology is, however, still in its infancy. As this gains momentum and the availability of suitable material rises, the amount of recycled plastic in Emmi Caffè Latte packaging will be further increased.