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Recycled material in new food contact applications

In this project, we try to produce a food contact approved film of recycled consumer plastic. By using multi-layer films with new raw material on the outside and recycled material in the middle, we hope to show that it is possible to use recycled plastic even in regulatory demanding applications such as food packaging.

Today there are almost no recycled materials in food contact packaging. De only available material that is allowed to be used in these applications are PET from the deposit system. The Swedish food retailers federation has set a goal to only use biobased or recycled materials in there packaging by 2030. The production of biobased plastics is today less than 1% of the total amount of plastic produced in the world. Although it its predicted that the production of biobased plastics will increase the upcoming years it is still a long way for replacing all the plastic packaging with it. Recycled plastic can at the moment be gathered faster and in greater quantities then biobased plastics. However, using recycled plastic in food contact material is a big challenge as the safety requirements on food contact materials are very high and recycled plastic often contains some sort of impurities and fluctuations in quality.

In order to meet this challenge and prove that recycled material can be used in food contact application we will in this project aim to produce a food contact approved film produced with recycled post-consumer LDPE. To get the film food contact approved the recycled material will be sandwiched in between two layers of virgin LDPE, creating a three-layer film. An additional layer of barrier material might also be used in order to minimize migration, making it a five-layer film. Another important requirement for the film Is that it should be recyclable using todays infrastructure and technologies.

One of the main obstacles with getting a film with recycled material approved for food applications is to confirm that the material does not contaminant or in any other way effect the quality of the food. To handle this issue new migration test will developed using surrogate substances to mimic the potential contaminants that can affect the food quality. The recycled material used in this project will be carefully selected and its chemical content will be analyzed thoroughly. 

More information about the project will be uploaded on this website. 


Summary

Project name

Recycled plastic in FCM

Status

Active

RISE role in project

Projektledare

Project start

Duration

24 månader

Total budget

1 880 000 SEK

Partner

Trioplast, Orkla foods, Nestlé

Funders

Lidl Future Initiatitives, The plastic challenge

Supports the UN sustainability goals

12. Responsible consumption and production
13. Climate action
Mattias Andersson

Contact person

Mattias Andersson

Forskare

+46 10 228 48 13
mattias.andersson@ri.se

Read more about Mattias