Plastic food packaging to become recyclable

Zurich/St.Gallen/Aarau/Lucerne – Several Swiss research and business partners are conducting research into recyclable polypropylene packaging for food. These include realcycle GmbH, the University of St.Gallen, the Plastics Training and Technology Center Aarau and Emmi. The project is supported by Innosuisse.

Zurich-based realcycle GmbH is conducting research together with the Plastics Training and Technology Center KATZ in Aarau and the Institute of Technology Management at the University of St.Gallen(ITEM-HSG) on a closed-loop system for food packaging made of polypropylene (PP). The consortium also includes the economic partners BASF Switzerland, Coop Genossenschaft from Basel, Emmi from Lucerne, Greiner Packaging from Diepoldsau SG, InnoPlastics from Eschlikon TG, Migros Industrie from Zurich, Silac from Euthal SZ and Säntis Packaging from Rüthi SG.

The 1.5-year project, called Development of closed-loop food contact rPP, has now been approved by the Swiss Innovation Promotion Agency Innosuisse, realcycle CEO Melanie Haupt informs in a post on LinkedIn. The project partners plan to begin implementation this October.

Together, “a viable value chain for secondary PP for food packaging is to be formed and experimentally verified,” according to realcycle in the project description. In the process, KATZ will examine materials collected by Coop and Migros. At InnoPlastics, the materials are processed into regranulate. Subsequently, work is carried out on required secondary materials, according to specifications from Greiner Packaging, Silac and Säntis Packaging at KATZ and BASF Plastic Additives. The result should be a granulate suitable for use on foodstuffs. The packaging formed from this by the processors is in turn tested for harmful substances and filled at Emmi. The ITEM-HSG takes over the examination of the economic viability. ce/hs