After successful trials at Tomra in Germany in September 2021, where 99.9% sorting purity using Nextek’s Polyprism invisible fluorescent markers was achieved, Nextloopp is now shipping prototypes of PPristine recycled PP resins sourced from post-consumer food packaging to its 43 participants for further testing.
Production trials of food-grade compliant rPP will begin shortly, manufacturing over 60 different products from Nextloopp’s four grades of food-grade compliant and “INRT-grade” PPristine resins.
Luke Burgess, business development manager at Viridor, the UK’s largest recycling operator whose newest recycling facility in Avonmouth was commissioned in 2021, says this milestone confirms the project is on track to meet the main challenges of recycling this precious polymer. It also opens up important business opportunities for the circular economy.
Robinson Packaging UK Managing Director Steve Haley agrees, saying Nextloopp has reached an exciting time testing FgrPP. It is expected to revolutionize the industry by reducing the amount of virgin polymer needed in circulation for packaging and contribute to a sustainable future.
Haley adds that with the increase in demand for post-consumer recycled materials, having a high quality food grade solution for their customers while closing the packaging loop is critical. Through this valuable partnership, all participants continue to learn from each other’s expertise to find the perfect and cost-effective solution that will have a huge impact on future developments within the industry.
In Malaysia, Heng Hiap CEO Kian Seah believes demand for food grade will suddenly increase under public and regulatory pressure as the world recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. As such, Heng Hiap is excited to collaborate with different stakeholders within Nextloopp to enable this breakthrough together.
Tim Strachan, category manager for food at Pro-Pac Packaging Group, explains that they are exploring an innovative and sustainable change in rigid PP packaging, driven by consumers, retailers and their customers who all want to make an impact. .
Strachan added that Nextloopp has provided considerable knowledge, support and technology to achieve this final milestone, bringing them even closer to addressing the complexities of adding recycled food-grade PP material into food-grade PP products.
As Nextloopp accelerates through the barriers of sorting and decontamination to close the loop on food-grade rPP, it is now refining the data required to compile the dossier for its application to EFSA and the FDA for food compliance .
Professor Edward Kosior, driving force behind Nextloopp, explains that the real breakthrough in a sustainable circular economy has been sorting in food packaging combined with cleaning and decontaminating polypropylene packaging to food safety standards. This must meet food safety authority compliant standards using Challenge Tests for validation, which is the basis of PPristine rPP resins.