LONDON : The recent report published by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) identifies the need of more work needed from across the supply chain to boost the use of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) and PP in food packaging.
The WRAP report finds that poor rPET quality has limited its use in food packaging applications. A joint effort by retailers,plastics sorters and reprocessors is highly required to improve the quality of food grade recycled PET.
According to estimates, currently only around 20-30% of plastic bottles make use of rPET.This can be raised to at least 50% provided the quality of resin is improved. Also thermoformed products utilize only around 50% rPET material currently.
This also can be increased to at least 70%. The study finds that color variation from contamination as the major roadblock in increased usage of rPET in food packaging.The report highlights the need for PET thermoform guidelines.
Furthermore, the reprocessors are advised to screen rPET flake to remove particles smaller than 2 mm, as they are identified to be the major cause to discoloration. Most commercial sorters do not screen particles below 4 mm size.
WRAP also recommends brands, retailers and packaging converters to use fast re-heat virgin resins which do not contain carbon black. Adequate awareness must be created among brands and packaging companies regarding the differences in using virgin and recycled content.