Unilever joins pioneering rPP food packaging project

Unilever joined by Nextek global NEXTLOOPP project, which aims to create recycled food grade polypropylene (rPP) from post-consumer packaging waste.

Polypropylene (PP) is a commonly used packaging material for food around the world, but post-consumer PP packaging is not widely recycled in conventional mechanical recycling infrastructure.

According to Nextek, the creation of a circular economy for post-consumer food grade PP packaging waste is long overdue. As a result, current food grade recycled PP is currently limited to advanced recycling technology processes.

Unilever and Nextek, along with other project partners, are ready to take on the challenge of producing rPP through conventional mechanical recycling infrastructure that meets regulatory standards for use in food packaging.

Global organizations that have joined the multi-participant project include brand owners, suppliers, universities and industry associations, right through to end users of the PP supply chain.

At a broader level, Unilever has committed to halving the use of virgin plastic in its packaging and completely phasing out over 100,000 tonnes of plastic by 2025 through its Less, Better, No plastic ”.

Sanjeev Das, Global Packaging Director for Unilever’s Food & Beverage Division, said: “Unilever supports the advancement of mechanical recycling infrastructure to produce food grade rPP to complement other technological pathways. Unlocking the path of mechanical recycling to produce food grade rPP will help strengthen our efforts to keep plastics in a loop and out of the environment.

Professor Edward Kosior, Founder and CEO of Nextek Ltd, adds: “The NEXTLOOPP project is very excited to welcome Unilever’s participation to help close the loop on PP food packaging. Unilever is a company committed to bringing sustainability and circularity to its many products and helping to overcome the daunting challenge of using high quality recycled polypropylene in food contact applications.

“We are eager to achieve the goal of creating a long-term solution for PP packaging so that consumers can be sure that when they participate in recycling, they are contributing to a better outcome for everyone. “

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