22. Jul 2021
Through this partnership, the two companies will work to engineer and test new chemical recycling methods with a focus on flexible packaging such as pouches and bag-in-box. Specifically, OBBOTEC's developments in integrated hydro-pyrolysis and selective plastic extraction methods provide unique solutions for the growing plastic waste management problem and minimal circularity of plastic packaging.
Ross Bushnell, President and CEO of Scholle IPN, said that "the team at Scholle IPN is focused on the sustainable supply of films, fitments, and equipment for flexible liquid packaging. We do that by engineering our products to align with the key principles of circular economics: source reduction, material reuse, and recycling," Bushnell continued. "The packaging industry has much work to do in order to achieve true circularity, but we believe that the technology and processes OBBOTEC employs will help us to significantly improve in this area and, in turn, to make positive strides with respect to our impact on Earth's climate and resources."
Wouter van Neerbos, Chairman of OBBOTEC talked about the recycling methods the two companies are pursuing. "OBBOTEC is a pioneer of two game-changing technologies, SPEX and Hydrocat. With SPEX technology, or Selective Plastic EXtraction, we employ a dissolution process to recycle in a circular manner. We create a plastic-to-plastic system using both PE and PP materials, delivering high-quality yields while using minimal energy throughout the process. Our SPEX method of recycling can even deal with the most difficult materials like mixed plastics, multi-layer films, laminates, and foils; upgrading the resulting material into near-virgin plastic granules again," he explained.
Van Neerbos described the difference with OBBOTEC's Hydrocat Technology. "Hydrocat technology is a third-generation hydrocracking process which turns a mix of biological and plastic waste into distillates such as marine gas oil (MGO) and naphtha crude oil. Hydrocat helps us take products which might normally end up in landfills and turn them into useable fuel products," he clarified.
Regarding the next steps for the partnership, Bushnell said: "Scholle IPN and OBBOTEC have begun sharing important scientific data and will soon begin joint trials that push a wide range of film and fitment products through these exciting technologies. The resulting analysis will help both companies develop next-generation solutions that can truly move the needle toward a circular economy in flexible packaging."