NextLoopp, the global multi-participant project aimed at closing the loop on food-grade polypropylene (PP), has successfully undertaken the first full-scale packaging production trials using its unique PPristine food-grade resins.
Mannok Pack, one of the UK and Ireland’s leading thermoformed food packaging manufacturers, ran the trials at its County Cavan facility, producing a range of different products from 500g dairy spread tubs and lids through injection moulding with in-mould label, to 500g dairy spread tub with lid through conventional sheet extrusion and thermoforming.
During the trials, the finished packs showed excellent visual and processing characteristics with only minor, but acceptable product variations between the 30 per cent rPP pack and the virgin PP pack.
“The packs made with the recycled PP material looked great and demonstrated the huge potential for this project,” commented Mark McKenna, Mannok’s general manager.
“I am confident the project is poised to help their industry move towards closing the loop on food-grade PP.”
Helen Roberts, Robinson PLC’s CEO, concurred, saying: “We were delighted with the results of these initial trials using the food-grade rPP material from NextLoopp, which produced very similar aesthetics and performance to our current virgin-based products, and little disruption to the manufacturing line.”
Professor Edward Kosior, founder of Nextek and NextLoopp said that he is delighted with these first trial results, which demonstrate the huge potential in closing the loop on one of the most prolific food-grade polymers.
As NextLoopp finalises the dossiers for its application to EFSA and ESFDA for food-grade accreditation, the project team is also now working in conjunction with industry bodies to advise on new design guidelines for food-grade circular recycling, based on their findings from these trials.