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Enval Partners with Kraft Heinz and Sonoco to Explore Recycling of Flexible Film Packaging

The British company has developed a pyrolysis-based technology to produce oil feedstock for the production of new plastic.

Clare Goldsberry

February 19, 2021

UK-based Enval has entered into a partnership with Kraft Heinz Co. and Sonoco in the United States with the goal of accelerating deployment of novel plastic recycling solutions. Enval claims to make “previously unrecyclable packaging valuable and environmentally responsible.” The company said that it has developed the “world’s only technology capable of recycling aluminum from plastic aluminum laminates.” It uses a proprietary pyrolysis solution to produce oil feedstock for the production of new plastic, as shown in the video.

The Project Touchdown partnership has begun with a two-month feasibility study to explore options for recycling hard-to-recycle flexible-film packaging using Enval’s technology. The project’s aim is to realize the first US plants using the company’s technology for treating low-density packaging waste.

The first phase of the project will involve Enval assessing current disposal methods for materials used by Sonoco and Kraft Heinz during the production and use of flexible plastic packaging. At the end of the first phase, Enval will produce a feasibility study with input from its partners that will include potential locations for future recycling plants. The site selection process will strive to minimize the financial and environmental costs associated with transporting packaging to the recycling plants. This approach is possible because Enval’s technology was conceived in a modular way to ensure that economic viability of the process starts at a small scale, thanks to its low CAPEX, said the company.

Founded in 2006, Enval will continue the project by building these plants, which would initially target the treatment of scrap generated by Sonoco and Kraft Heinz, and possibly incorporate post-consumer waste in the future.

Sonoco was founded in 1899 and is a global provider of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging, and displays and packaging supply chain services. Jeff Schuetz, Staff Vice President, Global Technology, Consumer Packaging, at Sonoco, commented: “While flexible packaging has a low environmental footprint, we recognize that innovation is needed in recycling technologies to improve its end-of-life options. Sonoco believes the combination of product and recycling innovation will provide a compelling solution, and we are happy to partner with Enval on this exciting project.”

About the Author(s)

Clare Goldsberry

Until she retired in September 2021, Clare Goldsberry reported on the plastics industry for more than 30 years. In addition to the 10,000+ articles she has written, by her own estimation, she is the author of several books, including The Business of Injection Molding: How to succeed as a custom molder and Purchasing Injection Molds: A buyers guide. Goldsberry is a member of the Plastics Pioneers Association. She reflected on her long career in "Time to Say Good-Bye."

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