Regulatory and brand owner targets for 2025 are approaching at an almost uncomfortable speed. With its quality recycling process, CEFLEX focuses on driving end market applications for flexible recyclates to help the industry achieve these vital goals.

We hear a lot about the chemical recycling potential of plastics – but in reality, it will be a long time before this becomes a commercial reality. The infrastructure for mechanical recycling, on the other hand, is already in place. According to CEFLEX, the aim is to “unleash the full environmental and economic potential” of this technology.

Collaborating together in the Sustainable End Markets workflow, the quality recycling process envisioned by CEFLEX stakeholders aims to deliver recycled polymers for higher value end market applications than those currently commercially available. A new electronic booklet pulls on interviews, presentations and processes to explore and profile the process from multiple perspectives and provide insights from those who have rigorously tested its potential.

Speaking about the potential of this process from a brand owner’s perspective, Gareth Callan, PepsiCo Sustainable Packaging Manager, R&D, said, “The quality recycling process allows us to engage with several organizations to achieve the common goal of a circular future for flexible packaging. . Through this process, we hope to see scaling sorting and reprocessing of packaging materials, which will help make recycling more economically feasible. In addition, we hope to see progress in the sorting process to ensure that more packaging material can be identified and redirected to a second use. “

The CEFLEX workflow is now moving to industrial trials to establish the business case for an infrastructure investment that it believes can leverage this process into a consumer solution to keep materials in the economy to the highest possible value.

The Quality Recycling Process Action Team performs the technical ‘proof of concept’ for Household Collected Post-Consumer Flexible Packaging, Post-Consumer Waste (PCR) that demonstrates:

  • Recycling to a wider range of flexible non-food packaging is possible, including more demanding applications through mechanical recycling through the quality recycling process.
  • The quality recycling process produces film-grade rPE and rPP polymers suitable for flexible non-food packaging by applying near infrared (NIR) sorting by polymer and color, followed by hot washing and extrusion with additional filtration and deodorization.
  • As a ‘real breakthrough’, film grade recyclates for natural rPE and rPP of all colors can be obtained with good yield and product quality and with mechanical and processing properties (i.e. i.e. the film extrusion process) which make these materials suitable for replacing virgin polymer grades.

Data from ongoing industrial trials in 2020-2021 will assess the economic viability of the process and a business case for the necessary infrastructure investment.


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