Development of new recycled materials from waste of multilayer pet containers for footwear, toy and construction applications – RECImPET

 

29.1 million tonnes of plastic waste is being generated within Europe on an annual basis, 17.8 million tonnes of which pertain to packaging. Within the latter, still over 7 million tonnes are incinerated while 3.3 million tonnes are disposed of in landfill sites, thus having an impact on the environment and the sustainability of the planet. One of the main waste streams among rigid food containers disposed of in the yellow bin is PET packaging, a large part of which are multilayer PET containers intended for food preservation.

 

Multilayer components conflict with one another, which hampers its mechanical recycling, thus having to separate this fraction from other waste materials, in order to prevent cross-contamination. At present, where #GreenDeal is a must to ensure the survival of the planet, the European Commission raises the need of quadrupling recycling capacity for plastic in Europe by 2030. But, is it feasible to reach this recycling capacity unless new recycling systems for waste such as multilayer PET are created?

 

The Technological Institute for Children’s Products & Leisure (AIJU, by its Spanish acronym) and the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) have worked hand in hand on devising a system to produce recycled material from multilayer PET packaging, thus enabling the recovery of these materials, which currently are considered as waste. To do this, a patent for multilayer PET recycling through a mechanical process to be replicated at an industrial scale was firstly applied for and granted. They have thereupon formed a consortium, and subsequently requested and been awarded by the Agència Valenciana de la Innovació (AVI) a project – RECImPET project- to apply these findings on the footwear, toys and construction industries.

 

Ultimately, they will implement the RECImPET project for the development of new recycled materials from multilayer PET packaging waste within the aforementioned applications. RECImPET project shall thus bring along the development of an innovative recycling process allowing for the recovery of multilayer packaging with a high PET content -in a range from 50 to 60%- without having to separate the several material layers from each other.

 

On the other hand, this project will result in obtaining new formulations of recycled material from multilayer PET and polyolefins in regrinds, processable by extruding, injection moulding and rolling. Thermal and mechanical properties of these new formulations shall be suitable for use on the target applications. Apart from UPV and AIJU, the consortium project is participated by the companies IBERRESINAS -involved in the production and sales of recycled compound- and REVESTECH -manufacturing waterproofing membranes for the construction industry. Both enterprises will be able to boost their regrinds production and business capacities. RECImPET represents an action that enables the productive and industrial system to promote a circular economy.

 

  • Agreement number: INNEST/2021/61
  • Starting day: 01 – oct- 2021
  • Duration: 24 meses
  • Status: Iniciado
  • Amount requested: 265.084,67 €

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