Mondi accelerates efforts to create flexible packaging from post-consumer recycled plastic
| Subj: Press-releses
Mondi Group, a global leader in packaging and paper, led Project Proof, a Pioneer Project facilitated by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation (EMF). The project has created a proof-of-concept prototype flexible plastic pouch incorporating a minimum of 20% post-consumer plastic waste originating from mixed household waste. The pouch is suitable for packaging household products such as detergent.
Project Proof is part of Mondi’s commitment to the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy Initiative. It is focused on designing products in line with circular economy principles and has shown that it is possible to use unclean and raw post-consumer recycled content to create new flexible packaging. Mondi will now develop the prototype further to ensure it can be rolled out as a commercially viable product for its multinational FMCG customers. This will support Mondi’s work as a signatory of the New Plastics Economy Commitment to ensure a minimum of 25% of post-consumer waste is incorporated across all its flexible plastic packaging where food contact regulations allow by 2025.
Mondi spearheaded Project Proof to examine whether it is possible to produce two new flexible plastic packaging products: a recyclable plastic for flexible packaging made with a percentage of post-consumer waste; and a form fill and seal (FFS) pouch for food applications. Aiming to replace multilayer laminates, often found in food packaging, and therefore increasing recyclability. As the use of recycled materials and the creation of more recyclable plastics in flexible packaging increases in popularity, they will help circularity in the marketplace.
The Group’s customer-centric approach, EcoSolutions, is helping customers to achieve their sustainability goals by focusing on packaging that is sustainable by design — paper where possible, plastic when useful.
Recycling with post-consumer material under the worst conditions
“We wanted to see what was possible with the worst input, and we were able to create a fully usable prototype” explained Graeme Smith, Mondi Consumer Packaging’s Sustainability Manager. This proof-of-concept underlines the potential what could be manufactured when better quality, pre-sorted materials are used as input. Better waste collection mechanisms and a focus on packaging designed for recycling will improve this process and help close the sustainability loop.
Creating recyclable pouches for food packaging
There are already materials being tested based on a mono-material construction without problematic layers such as aluminium, which would make recycling possible in existing waste-streams. It was concluded that further development in this area was required as current offerings did not achieve the basic minimum specifications set by the brand owners. Joint Development Agreements are being discussed for future research opportunities in this area.
Joint Development Agreements will help increase the pull of talent and technology in technically challenging areas of product development where only a full value chain of project team members can help decide future specifications and approvals for easier to recycle material solutions.
This provides a place for competitors to share knowledge in a secure way resulting in progress which would otherwise not be possible. As the facilitator of these projects, the EMF encourages circular economic thinking at all times to promote the generation of ideas that can be used by all.
Other Pioneer Projects underway
Source: Mondi Group