Determined to work with the dynamic around plastics recycling, the French leader for recycling and the European leader for food packaging solutions have launched the REUSAL project to speed up sorting and recycling of PET plastic food trays and to improve the eco-design of the products released on the market.
In mid-August, Brune Poirson, French Secretary of State to the Minister for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition, announced the introduction of an incentive-disincentive system to encourage industry to ecodesign their products and use more recycled plastics. The Government’s aim for 2025 is to achieve 100% recycling of plastics released on the market, compared with 20% today.
“Using recycled plastics in packaging is technically completely safe. We have largely demonstrated this with our partners, notably Groupe Guillin, a recognised expert in food packaging solutions”, explains Sébastien Petithuguenin, General Manager of Paprec. “We are obviously in favour of creating an incentive mechanism even if the system presented by the Secretary of State still needs to be fleshed out.”
Groupe Guillin has always been committed to eco-design for its packaging. “Because we are concerned about the environment, our Group has been manufacturing PET food packaging containing over 50% food grade recycled materials for the past 15 years. This virtuous principle means an infinite life cycle for our products”, says Sophie Guillin-Frappier, CEO of Groupe Guillin. “The aim of this project is to go even further in our circular economy approach in order to maximise the percentage of recycled material used in the manufacturing of our products.”
The two companies have therefore decided to pool their research and development resources to work on launching a specific unit for the recovery and treatment of plastic food packing and its regeneration to food grade, using the “tray-to-tray” principle.
Paprec and Groupe Guillin aim to develop and optimise food tray sorting in the flow of selectively sorted waste, develop the regeneration technology for this flow, improve the eco-design of food packaging and optimise the incorporation of recycled food grade materials.
Sorting out plastic food trays is already being trialled on an industrial scale by Paprec Trivalo 35. This unit, opened in 2016, is one of the group’s plants equipped for the tightening of sorting rules and so for the separation of packaging plastics other than bottles and flasks.
“To go one step further in recycling plastics, the model of an alliance between a user manufacturer and a recycler is the most efficient approach”, says Sébastien. “Combining the knowledge and expertise of our two companies will enable us to determine the best technical choices and so to develop the specific tools for our needs, which require a recycled raw material strictly compliant with the current food safety regulations and the technical criteria for the correct use of our packaging”, adds Sophie.
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