Discover how Syensqo and TOMRA are revolutionizing plastic recycling with innovative techniques to separate multilayer packaging, unlocking new possibilities for sustainability in the industry.

Advancing Plastic Recycling: Syensqo and TOMRA's Breakthrough in Multilayer Packaging

Unlocking the Potential: Industrial Tests Confirm Technical Feasibility of Multilayer Plastic Packaging Recycling

Syensqo and TOMRA have joined forces to achieve the technical and economic viability of separating and classifying plastic structures with multiple components, where polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) serves as a barrier layer.

Through a series of experiments with samples of multilayer packaging waste consisting of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and Ixan PVDC, the partners have demonstrated that multilayer films containing PVDC can be separated from mixed plastic waste using industrial sorting equipment to obtain clean-grade polyolefin and PVDC recycling streams.

"Federico Baruffi, Director of Special Polymers Marketing at Syensqo, explains, "The overall goal of this project was to challenge industry standards that claim PVDC multilayer films cannot be separated from multilayer packaging structures." "Our experiments have proven otherwise and are sending a clear message to the packaging and recycling industry that this can be done, with precision and repeatability, using existing industrial technology."

The results apply to markets that are currently generating mixed plastic waste with multilayers containing PVDC, such as shrink films in consumer and food packaging.

"Marco Gregori, Commercial Director of Italy at TOMRA Recycling Sorting, adds, "One of the concerns in the recycling industry was the reliable identification of polymer residues with PVDC content." "By combining our advanced optical and infrared detection systems, we have achieved a selectivity rate of over 80% when sorting from post-consumer plastic mixtures and over 95% when sorting from LDPE monolayer streams. This is another example of what current technology, in this case our AUTOSORT,™, can already accomplish."

The results have expanded the scope of mixed plastic waste suitable for recycling to a wide range of multilayer structures containing PVDC. The joint project between Syensqo and TOMRA is also considered a model for advancing circularity in the plastics industry through dedicated research and development by industry partners sharing similar values.


Keywords

plastic recycling , multilayer packaging , Syensqo , TOMRA , sustainability , industrial tests , technical feasibility , PVDC

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