Global packaging behemoth Amcor and food and drink processor Nestlé have launched a new flexible retort pouch that is recyclable in existing recycling streams in Europe.
The new high-barrier pouch will first be used for Nestlé’s Felix brand wet cat food.
It uses Amcor’s AmLite HeatFlex Recyclable solution. It is made of polypropylene and can be recycled in existing plastic recycling streams in the Netherlands where this product is being launched as a pilot programme this month.
A statement from Amcor said the companies achieved a technical breakthrough in solving for the inability to recycle retort flexible packaging. The partners collaborated during the product development process, testing for heat resistance, machine performance, shelf-life and recyclability in the real world.
Amcor Flexibles EMEA president Michael Zacka said Amcor and Nestlé created a solution that for years was thought impossible.
“This high-barrier, high-heat resistant packaging can be easily recycled within plastic recycling streams already existing in several European countries,” he said.
The new pouch meets the packaging guidelines for a circular economy recently published by the Ceflex Consortium.
Ceflex project co-ordinator and workstream consultant Graham Houlder said recyclable retort packaging is a revolutionary advance and will have a big impact in pet food and beyond.
“This is a great example of how – through innovation – companies can solve even the biggest challenges to recyclability,” he said.
Nestlé Purina Petcare EMENA CEO Bernard Meunier said the innovation on the Felix pouch is a significant step forward in the company's drive to deliver recyclable or reusable packaging in all its products by 2025.
“We want to contribute to creating a world where pets and people can thrive, and initiatives like this support our goal of offering food that is good for pets, and the planet,” Meunier said.