Technological watch

Seeking a greener option for film recycling

And then there were five.

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition and the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners have named five finalists in their FlexPack Recovery Challenge, a competition to promote new ideas for the recovery of multi-material flexible packaging waste.

The five finalists will appear at the upcoming SPC Impact 2019 conference April 1-4 in Seattle to showcase their ideas.

The finalists include EcoGlobal, which has mechanical recycling technology that converts low density polyethylene and "other inputs" into its Ekopolimer brand material.

Ekopolimer "has been used as access mats for construction and other sectors, shipping crates, walkways and low impact roads, storm drains, agriculture, and building materials," the competition's organizers said.

The company has a production site in the Netherlands and wants to build another location in North America.

Finalist Cadel Deinking uses a water-based delamination process that combines both mechanical and chemical recycling. The company has recently conducted delamination trials for multi-material flexible packaging with promising results. The company has a pilot plant in Spain and is looking to expand elsewhere, according to an announcement from challenge organizers.

Finalist ReNewELP of the United Kingdom uses chemical recycling to convert mixed plastics into oils, chemicals and waxes. The company uses a gasification process that is well suited for contaminated composite films. The company is close to starting construction on commercial scale plant in England, challenge organizers said.

Finalists Snova and BioBTX are Netherlands-based companies working together on chemical conversion technologies, both gasification and pyrolysis, as well as gas cleaning to address multi-material flexible packaging. Their combined technology creates benzene, toluene, xylene, styrene and recycled aluminum for use as feedstocks to make new products.

FlexPack Recovery Challenge Renewlogy uses pyrolysis to convert plastics into fuel and feedstock. Finalist Renewlogy, based in the United States, uses pyrolysis to convert plastics into fuel and petrochemical feedstock. The company's process handles multi-layered flexible packaging as well as commingled and contaminated plastics through a modular system approach. Renewlogy currently has facilities in Salt Lake City and Chester, Nova Scotia.

"It's critical to find emerging recovery solutions for emerging types of packaging," Adam Gendell, associate director of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, said in a statement. "We believe in the abilities of these five finalists to bring successful new recycling technologies to life and create a more circular system for multi-material flexible packaging."

The challenge winner will receive a year of free membership to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition and enter a year-long mentorship program.

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Publication date: 07/03/2019

Plastics News

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Last update: 2019-09-18