A new collaboration between Ineos and Lactel will see the production of Lactel’s first milk bottles made from HDPE derived from chemically recycled waste plastic.
The partnership stems from the sustainability commitments of both companies to drive down the impact of plastic packaging on the environment.
Ineos has the capacity to manufacture over 8.5 million tonnes of chemicals and polymers - 5.5 million tonnes per annum of olefins and aromatics, and 3 million tonnes of polyolefins - at a total of eight sites, is Europe's largest olefin producer. As part of its commitment to a New Circular Economy, it has set itself a number of targets to meet by 2025, including ensuring that 100% of its polymer products are recyclable by that date; incorporating at least 325kt/a of recycled material into products; and offering range of polyolefin products for packaging applications in Europe containing 50% or more recycled content.
To that end, Ineos O&P Europe is making a significant investment to develop a comprehensive portfolio of circular solutions for the packaging industry, including the use of feedstock derived from chemically recycled post-consumer plastic to produce new polymers.
Advanced recycling technology converts waste plastic back to its basic molecules which are then used in INEOS production sites to include recycled contents and replace traditional fossil-based raw materials.
“Via advanced recycling, we are able to supply virgin quality polymer from recycled plastic that is ideal for even the most demanding food contact applications like milk. Another big step in the right direction,” said Xavi Cros, CEO Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe/South.
Lactel is the first dairy brand, in collaboration with Ineos, to explore a solution for UHT milk bottles produced with circular polyethylene, derived from post-consumer recycled material.
"This trial production of 140,000 milk bottles, based on HDPE from advanced recycling technology, is a world first and a major step forward for Lactel towards a circular economy,” said Anne Charles-Pinault, General Manager at Lactel France.
“This new innovative product will be used in the Montauban production plant for an initial production run.”
After an independent certification process, initiated several months ago, Lactel’s Montauban plant has been successfully certified this April 2021 by the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB), an international, multi-stakeholder, independent organisation that supports the development of the global bio-based and circular economy through sustainability solutions, certification, innovation and collaborative partnerships.
The milk bottles produced in this way are compliant with food safety regulations and are fully recyclable.