Grangemouth site to play key role in project to deliver food-grade recycled polypropylene

To comply with UK Plastic Pact targets the ‘hybrid resin’ must contain at least 30% PCR

INEOS Olefins & Polymers has joined the NEXTLOOPP project, designed to create circular food-grade recycled polypropylene from Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) packaging.

The two-year project will inform the building of a demonstration plant to produce 10,000 tonnes of food-grade recycled polypropylene annually.

From its manufacturing base in Grangemouth, and product and technical expertise across its European operations, INEOS will help tailor food-grade recycled polypropylene to the ‘precise’ specification of converters by blending it with virgin polypropylene to modify its mechanical and processing properties. It will also introduce processing aids to help converters meet the exacting requirements of brand owners.

The project aims to validate the food-grade recycled polypropylene manufacturing process and its commercial viability.

Graham MacLennan, polymer business manager INEOS O&P UK, said, “Polypropylene is one of the most versatile plastics in the world – it is also missing from our recycling streams in food contact applications. In the UK alone we use over 210,000 tonnes of PP in our food packaging every year. It is found in pots, tubs and trays. However, the absence of food-grade recycled polypropylene means that all PP food packaging is currently made from virgin plastics. This isn’t unique to the UK but a large global issue that INEOS and its partners are determined to change.”

Professor Edward Kosior, founder and CEO of Nextek Ltd and NEXTLOOPP, added, “We are delighted to welcome the participation of INEOS in helping recycle PP food packaging. INEOS’ commitment to reducing the world’s reliance on virgin plastics and closing the loop on such a prolific polymer as food-grade PP will help create a more circular economy, reduce CO2 emissions and create new materials for brand owners.

“NEXTLOOPP looks forward to achieving the goal of creating a long term solution for PP packaging, enabling all stakeholders to confidently participate in recycling and contributing to a better outcome for all.”