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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

In this section, you can access to the latest technical information related to the BANUS project topic.

The Gneuss MRS recycling process: Approved for food packaging worldwide

This year, Gneuss obtained food contact approval from Anvisa, the first-ever in Brazil. This approval is for the Gneuss PET process for recycling PET post-consumer and post-industrial waste to sheet for thermoforming to food contact containers. It is a significant contribution toward increasing polymer recycling.

In Latin America, the Gneuss recycling process has also achieved the standards set by the Colombian food safety agency, Invima and its Argentinian counterpart, Senasa for processing 100 % post-consumer PET waste to food contact products.

In Europe, the Gneuss recycling process has passed the EFSA challenge test for the processing of 100 % post-consumer PET.

A study by the British charity for promoting recycling, “Waste and Resources Action Programme” (WRAP) in 2016 showed that with the help of the Gneuss Recycling Process, it was possible to take post–consumer thermoformed PET pots, tubs and trays from household waste and recycle them back into the same products, for food contact. Unlike the re-processing of PET bottle flake to sheet for thermoforming, this process is a truly circular one.

The study was published under the title: “Development and optimisation of a recycling process for PET pots, tubs and trays”.

Thanks to the unparalleled devolatilisation performance of the Gneuss MRS extruder, contaminants such as oils, other harmful volatiles and also odours are efficiently removed from washed PET scrap without the need for pre-drying or any other heat treatment of the material prior to extrusion. Avoiding the need for heat treatment of the material prior to extrusion saves not only investment and energy costs, a whole inflexible process is eliminated, together with the risk of damage to the material.

The polymer is processed extremely gently in the low shear MRS extruder. The final product has excellent colour (low yellowing) and transparency.

In addition to the food contact approvals for PET, this year Gneuss obtained approval from the American FDA for the processing of post-consumer polystyrene to food contact products. Polystyrene post-consumer waste can be reprocessed on the Gneuss MRS extruder to sheet for foamed and rigid food contact containers.

In 2009 and 2011, trials by the WRAP organisation already showed that with the help of the Gneuss MRS Recycling Process, it is feasible to achieve the conditions of the FDA challenge test for processing post-consumer polypropylene and polyethylene for food contact applications. The results of this test were published by WRAP under the titles “Commercial Scale Mixed Plastic Recycling – a report on the technical viability of recycling mixed plastic packaging waste from domestic sources on a commercial scale in the U.K“ and “Development of a Food-Grade Recycling Process for Post-Consumer Polypropylene“.

www.gneuss.com

» Publication Date: 09/10/2018

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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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