An important step for the circular economy: recycling complex plastic food packaging

2 November 2022

In a joint project with chemical company SABIC and food giant Mars, Landbell Group has successfully recycled and processed plastic waste in a way that it can be used as new food packaging – thanks to a new and innovative chemical recycling technology.

Until now, packaging made from recycled materials has been unsuitable for new food packaging because it did not meet the high-quality requirements. To avoid negative effects on human health, food packaging material must be free of any contamination which cannot be ensured with conventional recycling technologies.

The new pyrolysis process allows the used mixed plastic to be recycled at molecular level. With this technology, the plastic is heated to very high temperatures in an oxygen-free environment and broken down, producing pyrolysis oil. This can then be used like a fossil raw material to produce high-quality packaging, which is also suitable for the food sector.

“Mixed used plastic from flexible consumer packaging is difficult to sort and recycle mechanically,” says Uwe Echteler, Chief Operating Officer for Landbell Group. “However, as demonstrated in this closed-loop project, we can facilitate effective advanced recycling solutions that allow plastics and packaging manufacturers, as well as OEMs and brand owners, to reclaim and benefit from the value of mixed used plastics while at the same time reducing fossil depletion and enhancing their carbon footprint.”

In the coming weeks, Mars will use the new packaging material, which was collected by Landbell Group and processed into certified polypropylene by SABIC, in its snack bar brand, KIND®.

For more information on the new technology, please contact us.