Systems Labelling have announced a major breakthrough in the development of recycled polypropylene (PP). The widespread use of PP means it is the third most common polymer found in household waste in the UK after high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). Unlike milk and drinks bottles, PP packaging is used in many different grades and colours making it difficult to recycle. Until now there has been little incentive for UK industries to consider the benefits of reducing the dependence on virgin PP in the manufacture of food packaging and, at the same time, divert waste from landfill and boost the UK market value of recycled PP.
Injection moulded pots, containers and lids for example are used to package huge volumes of food and dairy products in addition to non-food sectors including cosmetic and household goods. Much of this waste is sent to land-fill given the low demand for “jazz” or black/grey pellets and therefore has a major impact on our environment. The challenge has always been to find a way to remove the printed decoration (in this case inmould labels) from injection moulded packaging post-use.
Systems Labelling have now developed such a solution. Under the registered trademark R-IML® this new product is a totally removable inmould label that does exactly what it says on the tub, lid or container. Post-use this innovative product (patent pending) can be completely removed during the recycling process or indeed by the consumer.
This solution can be moulded at standard dwell times and temperatures, therefore has no impact on traditional moulding processes. The commercial and more importantly the environmental benefits are huge if adopted across all sectors. The ability to recycle natural/clear or white polypropylene to its original state displaces the use of virgin resin in consumer product packaging for colour sensitive applicationsproviding a commercial value for all stakeholders. Indeed Defra and WRAP estimate for every 1 tonne of PP recycled we would save approximately 1 tonne in CO2 emissions.
Systems Labelling’s CEO Steve Pickford comments “This innovation will contribute directly to the sustainability objectives set out in the Courtauld Commitment.” He adds “This innovative breakthrough is set to revolutionise the inmould labelling market. We have developed a solution (patent pending) that will mould at the same temperatures and dwell times whilst performing in moist, chilled, damp or microwave conditions.”