With the active support of Tetra Pak, Recon Polymers BV, a Dutch environmentally-aware start-up located in Roosendaal, has developed an innovative solution to recycle all components from beverage cartons. This innovative process secure the recycling of the plastic and aluminum mix coming from the recycling of used beverage cartons in Europe.
The average beverage carton comprises around 75% paperboard, 20% plastic and 5% aluminum foil. While the recovery of fibres during the recycling process is already well established and has a healthy market to convert into high-quality paper pulp for use in both industrial and consumer products, the same is not true yet for the plastic and aluminum mix.
With this new, innovative technology, Recon Polymers is converting the extracted plastic and aluminum mix into raw materials for applications within the plastic industry. Through this new process, Recon Polymers separates the caps, mainly made of HDPE plastic, and the layers, mainly LDPE plastic. The recovered plastics from the caps enter into existing end-markets for recycled HDPE, such as non-food bottles, pipes, recycling bins, etc.
The LDPE plastic and aluminum mix coming from the layers are processed together to form a new raw material usually called PolyAl. This is where new applications are being developed. As an example, the Dutch producer Fauna Birdproducts BV has already put on the market some products made from PolyAl such as bird feeders for their brand ‘Singing Friend’. These products can already be found at major Dutch retailers, such as Jumbo and Albert Heijn. The objective is to continue exploring new prospects to increase the value of PolyAl even further on the long-term.
Created in 2016, Recon Polymers started as a pilot factory to test its innovative technology to process the plastic and aluminum mix from beverage cartons. Supported by Tetra Pak, both partners are now very proud to announce that a commercial production factory was launched in September last year. The capacity of Recon Polymers is about 6.000 tons of PolyAl per year and will be reached during 2021. The ambition is to increase the capacity as soon as possible. The objective and potential are to ramp up the production in Roosendaal to over 15.000 tons a year, using mainly material from neighboring countries.
Roderick Friend, Head of the Tetra Pak Office in the Netherlands, said: “This is a real innovation, that will benefit the whole beverage carton industry. We are very proud to be part of such a creative initiative that show that all materials used in our packaging can have a new, valuable life.”
Teun Suijkerbuijk, Director of Recon Polymers BV, said: “From the beginning, we were convinced that PolyAl was a raw material that could have a strong business value. With the support of Tetra Pak, we were able to convert this idea into a concrete and successful recycling model for the plastic and aluminum mix from used beverage cartons.”.
Jeroen Mutsaers, Director of Fauna Birdproducts BV, said: “The use of PolyAl for our products perfectly fits our ambition to use good quality, sustainable raw materials in line with the image of our company and products. PolyAl is a very interesting alternative: it is resistant, waterproof and is a great example of how recycled products can concretely start a new life. With Recon Polymers, we have found a trustworthy partner that has worked with us to develop the right products for our sustainable brand ‘Singing Friend’. We are very happy and proud to see the interest from major retailers. It shows the relevance of our business model and gives us confidence in the future.”
ABOUT TETRA PAK
Tetra Pak is a world leading food processing and packaging solutions company. Working closely with our customers and suppliers, we provide safe, innovative and environmentally sound products that each day meet the needs of hundreds of millions of people in more than 160 countries. With more than 25,000 employees around the world, we believe in responsible industry leadership and a sustainable approach to business.
Our promise, “PROTECTS WHAT’S GOOD™," reflects our vision to commit to making food safe and available, everywhere.
More information about Tetra Pak is available at www.tetrapak.com
ABOUT RECON POLYMERS
Recon Polymers is a start up with the ambition to put a solution in the market to solve PolyAl recycling on a larger scale. This is done in close collaboration with several parties in the value chain creating a benefit for all involved.
ABOUT FAUNA BV – Singing Friend
Nature is our greatest gift. This respect for nature is in our DNA, and you see it in our innovative products. There is a reason why sustainability is one of our most important values. We strive for fairness in the broadest sense of the word; from the use of sustainable resources to making our products and our selected manufacturers, to fair prices.
More information about us is available at www.singingfriend.com
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