NextLooPP, the global multi-participant project aimed at closing the loop on food-grade polypropylene, has successfully undertaken the first full-scale packaging production trials using its unique food-grade recycled polypropylene (PP) resins branded as PPristine
Mannok Pack, a major thermoformed food packaging manufacturer for the UK and Ireland, ran the trials at their County Cavan facility. A range of different products was produced from 500 gram/ dairy spread tubs and lids through injection molding with in-mold label (IML) to 500g Dairy Spread Tub with Lid through conventional sheet extrusion and thermoforming.
The finished packs showed excellent visual and processing characteristics with only minor but acceptable product variations between the 30% rPP pack and the Virgin PP pack.
Mark McKenna, Mannok’s general manager, noted that the packs made with the recycled PP material “looked great” and demonstrated the huge potential for this project. McKenna feels confident the project is poised to help the industry move towards closing the loop on food-grade PP.
Helene Roberts, CEO of packaging supplier Robinson PLC, concurs. “We were delighted with the results of these initial trials using the food-grade rPP material from NextLoop that produced very similar aesthetics and performance to our current virgin-based products and little disruption to the manufacturing line.”
Edward Kosior, PhD, founder of NextLooPP and Nextek, is also delighted with these first trial results. According to Kosior, it demonstrates the huge potential in closing the loop on one of the most prolific food-grade polymers. He is grateful for all the diligent preparation and support in these production trials.
As NextLooPP finalizes the dossiers for its application for food-grade accreditation to EFSA and US FDA, it is also working in conjunction with industry bodies to advise on new design guidelines for food-grade circular recycling based on their findings from these trials.
PlasticsToday’s four NextLooPP reports can be found here, including the previous post from April 2022, Food-Grade Recycled Polypropylene Achieves Milestone.