Braskem, one of the world’s largest thermoplastics producers, becomes NEXTLOOPP’s 40th participant

Nextek’s groundbreaking project NEXTLOOPP, creates food-grade recycled Polypropylene (FGrPP) from post-consumer packaging waste.

This award-winning project, which launched in October 2020, recently revealed outstanding results of its innovative tracer-based sorting trials. NEXTLOOPP uses a combination of cutting-edge technologies to first separate food-grade PP from the rest, and then decontaminate the polymer to ensure compliance with food-grade standards in the UK, EU and the USA.

Being able to identify and sort any number of pack variants from bleach bottles to milk bottles in any plastic type is a world-first that is poised to transform the way we recycle the prolific volume of single-use post-consumer food packaging waste back into circular applications.

Polypropylene (PP) accounts for around 20 percent of the world’s plastic and is the biggest plastic fraction in the FMCG sector. In the UK alone, 210,000 tonnes of food- grade polypropylene (FGPP) packaging is used in pots, tubs, trays and films each year1 , in the U.S. an estimated 827,000 tons of PP per annum is generated by single-family households 2 .

Yet, recent changes in the global recycling markets have challenged whether post- consumer PP packaging is considered widely recycled in conventional mechanical recycling systems. PP’s “widely recycled” status was downgraded to “check locally” in the US in 2020. Since then, significant progress has been made to bolster PP recycling access through the actions of companies like Braskem, who are working with others to grow the US domestic PP recycling infrastructure and developing recycled products for the PP market.

By tapping into Nextek’s technologies, NEXTLOOPP is now well underway to create a world-first; post-consumer food-grade recycled PP (FGrPP).

“We are very proud to join NEXTLOOPP given the urgent need to increase recycling rates and improve the quality of mechanically recycled PP, not only in Europe but globally. I’m confident that in cooperation with the other members, we will achieve the goal of closing the loop on food packaging”, says Alberto Chiozzi, who was recently appointed to lead Braskem’s efforts to further develop mechanical recycling in Europe.

Professor Edward Kosior, founder and CEO of Nextek Ltd and NEXTLOOPP says: ”We are delighted to include Braskem amongst our dynamic body of participants, whose unique expertise is invaluable to our groundbreaking project. Braskem’s strategic vision to support technology and innovation to achieve sustainable development and to make people’s lives better by creating sustainable solutions dovetails with our mission to create a circular economy for food-grade PP packaging waste and help reach Net Zero Carbon targets.”

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Written by Dominy Jones