Scholle IPN has entered into a strategic partnership with Obbotec to explore and test new chemical recycling methods for flexible packaging.
Through the partnership, the companies will work to engineer and test new chemical recycling methods with a focus on flexible packaging such as pouches and bag-in-box – which are suitable for a variety of food and beverage applications
Based in the Netherlands, Obbotech specialises in advanced forms of chemical recycling technologies for plastics including SPEX (Selective Plastic Extraction) and Hydrocat. SPEX can convert a mix of waste plastics into near virgin PE and PP materials, while Hydrocat helps take products which might normally end up in landfills and turn them into useable fuel products.
“With SPEX technology…we employ a dissolution process to recycle in a circular manner. We create a plastic-to-plastic system using both PE and PP materials, delivering high-quality yields while using minimal energy throughout the process,” said Wouter van Neerbos, chairman of Obbotec.
The company’s SPEX method can reportedly comply with difficult materials such as mixed plastics, multi-layer films, laminates, and foils; upgrading the resulting material into near-virgin plastic granules again.
Van Neerbos continued: “Hydrocat technology is a third-generation hydrocracking process which turns a mix of biological and plastic waste into distillates such as marine gas oil (MGO) and naphtha crude oil.”
Ross Bushnell, president and CEO of Scholle IPN, said: “The packaging industry has much work to do in order to achieve true circularity, but we believe that the technology and processes Obbotec employs will help us to significantly improve in this area and, in turn, to make positive strides with respect to our impact on Earth’s climate and resources.”
Scholle IPN and Obbotec will soon begin joint trials that push a variety of film and fitment products through these technologies.
“The resulting analysis will help both companies develop next-generation solutions that can truly move the needle toward a circular economy in flexible packaging,” said Bushnell.
Earlier this year, Scholle IPN acquired flexible packaging equipment manufacturer Bossar, building on the companies’ previous work on developing recyclable solutions for pouches.
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