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Klockner Pentaplast (KP) is marking the second year of its award winning KP Tray2Tray initiative, which works towards creating a closed loop for food packaging.

With customers in several regions of the company's global business now using KP Tray2Tray flake in their trays and rigid films, KP is calling on the industry to help drive the initiative, creating separate recycling and sorting systems specifically for pots, tubs and trays to turn them back into more of the same. 

KP has been manufacturing fresh food packaging made with post-consumer recycled PET for almost two decades, making the UK headquartered packaging converter one of the largest consumers of this valuable raw material.

National regulations, such as plastic taxes coming into effect in some countries, means there is an ever-increasing demand for recycled PET.

Against the backdrop of a post-Covid world that has seen unprecedented price increases of raw materials, energy, transportation and labour costs, KP believes it is vital for food packaging manufacturers to secure material to help keep food supply chains affordable.

KP said that as all producers in food and drink demand recycled material, it is now essential to separate food packaging from bottle flake to meet demand. 

“For several years, we’ve been driving multiple work streams globally, collaborating with the entire value chain, including recyclers, expert partners, governments and other stakeholders, to establish new ways to collect and process separate streams of recycled PET tray flake,” explained Adam Barnett, president of food packaging for KP. 

“Our ultimate aim is to help build the new infrastructures and incentives to collect, sort and recycle, ensuring wherever we operate we will enable full tray circularity.

“Now we call upon our customers, the retailers and extend this to the industry, pledging to help us create further demand for tray-to-tray material inclusion in their products.”

With sites around the globe, KP is working to implement KP Tray2Tray in its operations at every site. 

Its pilot site in Pravia, Spain is already using up to 30 per cent KP Tray2Tray flake in a range of its thermoformed products for protein – with qualified certifications from RecyClass. 

Another five sites in the UK, Portugal, Spain and Germany are producing rigid films for form, fill and seal applications using KP Tray2Tray as part of their extrusion processes, with sister site INFIA also incorporating it into its processes and producing fruit punnets.

In 2021, KP launched ‘Investing in Better’, a broad and ambitious sustainability strategy with 10 time-bound and measurable long-term targets. 

The strategy is built around three main objectives: Close the Loop, Work Smarter and Act Responsibly. 

Under the Close the Loop objective, one of the targets is that by the end of 2025, at least 30 per cent of the post-consumer recycled material in their packaging will be from KP Tray2Tray material. 

KP can report that in its second year since the launch of the initiative, 10 per cent of its post-consumer recycled content comes from trays. 

KP Tray2Tray gained two new prestigious awards in 2021 – Sustainable Supplier of the Year at the Footprint Awards, and Best Food Packaging in the Liderpack Awards, creating awareness of the initiative.

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