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Food-grade PP recycling moves closer

November 25/2010

(Food Productiondaily) -- The ability to recycle food-grade polypropylene (PP) is moving closer to reality, according to the UK government-funded Waste Resources Action Programme (WRAP). The organisation is aiming to reduce dependence on virgin PP in the manufacture of food packaging and divert waste from landfill while boosting the UK market for recycled PP.


WRAP is continuing this project in a second stage looking at improving the cleaning efficiency of heavier contaminants and investigating ink removal from used PP packaging. Results are due to be published in early spring, said Paul Davidson, WRAPs head of sector specialists.


The ability to recycle food-grade PP would signal a revolution in the reuse of PP, similar to that of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) milk bottles a decade ago, according to the organisation.


Meanwhile, studies have revealed that food-grade recycled PP can be both thermoformed and injection moulded and so is suitable for use in the common PP conversion processes.


An important step in bringing recycled food-grade PP to realty will be industry investment to identify automated sorting processes.


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