Nextek’s eight-year period of extensive research to enable food-grade recycled PP to be produced from post-consumer waste has concluded with the successful launch of the NextLoopp project. This global multi-participant project aims to address a ‘missing link’ in the plastics recycling stream - polypropylene.
“Creating a circular economy for food-grade PP packaging waste fills the enormous gap in the packaging recycling sector and helps reach Net Zero Carbon targets,” said Professor Edward Kosior, founder and CEO of Nextek Ltd. “Our focus is on the efficient manufacturing of high-quality, food grade rPP for use in a wide range of processes and packaging.”
PP accounts for around 20 percent of the world’s plastic. In Europe, PP consumption is around10 million tonnes per year. While consumer packaging - pots, tubs, trays and films for food packaging - is a major application representing around 40%, it is also a common choice for non-food household and personal care products. The UK alone uses some 700,000 tonnes/annum of the material.
Yet very little of this is recycled. At the end of life, PP packaging mainly goes to i waste-to-energy, landfill or isdown-cycled into low-performance applications. The absence of food-grade recycled PP (FGrPP) means that all PP food packaging is currently made from virgin plastics.
NextLoopp is tacking the problem with solutions that include commercially-proven marker technologies to separate food-grade PP and sophisticated decontamination stages to ensure compliance with food-grade standards in the EU and the USA.