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Sustainable plastic resin manufacturer NextLife is the first company to receive clearance for post-consumer recycled resins to be used in the manufacture of food contact products in Canada.

Heather Caliendo

June 6, 2012

2 Min Read
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The company's recycled polypropylene (PP) and recycled polystyrene (PS) resins have received clearance from Health Canada for use in manufacture of thermoformed or injection molded articles for contact with food. NextLife recycled PP and recycled PS resins also meet U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) clearance for up to 100% recycled content in thermoformed or injection molded articles for contact with non-alcoholic food.

NetxLife CEO Ron Whaley told PlasticsToday the company is seeing demand for post consumer recycled plastic grow throughout North America, with additional demand coming from businesses based in Canada and those serving the market.

He said the company had already made strong inroads into the Canadian market through a partnership with the consumer product packaging sector of Cascades specialty products group, which conceives, manufactures and markets packaging products for the food, hardware and consumer product industries in Canada.

Cascades is currently testing the NextLife resins and plans to launch a range of expanded polystyrene trays made with post-consumer recycled content.

Whaley said historically, recycled plastic has been limited to less sophisticated applications, such as decking or park benches.

"But NextLife is implementing system improvements that allow for more reliable resin output to provide technical and aesthetically appealing applications in which consumers will never notice a difference in the look, feel, performance or cost of the product as compared to traditional virgin resin," he said. "Food contact indication is a vital attribute in further penetrating the consumer products space."

The carbon footprint of a NextLife resin is 70% less than that of a virgin resin, according to the company.

"While there are a growing number of 'green' options making their way to market with the promise of anything from responsible sourcing to biodegradability - NextLife is providing a solution that truly reduces waste," he said. "What has long been viewed as a negative attribute about plastics, that they never break down, is actually a positive when people learn how to properly recycle them. The company is helping divert plastic waste from landfills, while also making a dent in the oil and energy used in the creation of new plastics."

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