With the launch of the world’s first commercially available chemically recycled PLA,Total Corbion PLA has taken a logical step towards an ‘even more sustainable offering’, according to CEO Thomas Philipon.
“This ability to now efficiently receive, repurpose and resupply PLA is a further demonstration of the sustainability of our product and the demonstration of our commitment to enable the circular economy through value chain partnership,” he said at the launch of the product. The Luminy recycled PLA grades provide the same properties, characteristics and regulatory approvals as virgin Luminy PLA, but are partially made from post-industrial and post-consumer PLA waste. As the original food contact and other certifications remain in place, using rPLA can contribute to meeting the recycled content targets of brand owners, even for food contact applications.
Total Corbion PLA is already receiving and depolymerising reprocessed PLA waste, which is then purified and polymerised back into commercially available Luminy rPLA. Currently, Looplife in Belgium and Sansu in Korea are among the first active partners to support the collection, sorting and cleaning of post-industrial and post-consumer PLA waste. The resulting PLA feedstock is then used by Total Corbion PLA to make new Luminy PLA polymers via the chemical recycling process. As an initial offering, grades will be supplied with 20% recycled content using the widely accepted principles of mass balance.
“As we are currently ramping up this initiative, the initial volumes are limited but we are confident that rPLA will grow to be a significant part of our overall sales revenues,” said François de Bie, Senior Marketing Director at Total Corbion PLA. He also stressed that interested parties should get in touch: “At Total Corbion PLA, we are actively seeking to purchase more post-industrial and post-consumer PLA waste, creating value for the recycle industry as a whole,” he said.
“The ability to chemically recycle post-industrial and post-consumer PLA waste allows us to not only reduce waste, but also keep valuable resources in use and truly ‘close the loop’. For our customers, the new, additional end-of-life avenue this provides could be the missing piece in their own sustainability puzzle, and we look forward to solving these challenges together.”