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Definition and development of functional barriers for the use of recycled materials in multilayer food packaging

TECHNOLOGICAL WATCH

Type of information: NEWS

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Collaboration with Indorama and start-up Ioniqa to convert PET waste into food-grade material / Decision on sole head office reached

Collaboration with Indorama and start-up Ioniqa to convert PET waste into food-grade material / Decision on sole head office reachedColoured PET bottles could be recycled into food-grade material using Ioniqa's technology (Photo: Indorama)Through its R&D foods team, consumer goods giant Unilever (Rotterdam / The Netherlands; www.unilever.com) has announced the start of a partnership with chemical company Ioniqa Technologies (Eindhoven / The Netherlands; www.ioniqa.com) and PET producer Indorama Ventures (Bangkok / Thailand; www.indoramaventures.com). The collaboration is to develop a technology that converts PET waste back into high-quality material for use in food packaging.

Ioniqa has developed a proprietary technology that is able to convert PET waste, including coloured bottles and packs ? see Plasteurope.com of 07.10.2015 ? into virgin-grade PET at Indorama?s facility. Ioniqa is a spin-off from the Eindhoven University of Technology (Eindhoven; www.tue.nl).

According to Unilever, only about 20% of PET makes its way to recycling plants, with the rest either incinerated, landfilled or littered. If proven successful at industrial scale, the three companies say the "fully circular solution could lead to an industry transformation," since the technology can be repeated "indefinitely."

In 2017, Unilever made a commitment to have all of its plastic packaging being reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 ? see Plasteurope.com of 26.01.2017. The company's chief R&D officer, David Blanchard, said this latest partnership represents "another sustainable packaging innovation."

In separate company news, Unilever announced in March that to simplify its corporate structure, it has chosen its headquarters to be located solely in Rotterdam. The company said employment of 7,300 workers in the UK and 3,100 in the Netherlands will not be affected by the changes. The Dutch legal entity has about 55% of the group's shares. Brexit is apparently not a reason for the decision.12.04.2018 Plasteurope.com [239474-0]

» Publication Date: 12/04/2018

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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research, technological development and demonstration (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n° [606572].

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