FOOD GRADE RECOVERY OF POST-CONSUMER HDPE MILK BOTTLES

visconews issue #03 · Nov 2014
viscotec visconews HDPE milk bottles
As a world leader in plastics processing machinery and technology, viscotec has the FDA approval for their deCON decontamination dryer to make food grade flakes from post-consumer recycled High Density Polyethylene milk bottles.

 

The outstanding cleaning efficiency of the deCON enables the re-use of PCR HDPE for food packaging applications under conditions E through G. Due to its higher diffusion and sorption behavior, PCR HDPE faces even stricter safety criteria than PCR PET.

 

Hence, a prerequisite for the production of food grade HDPE is a strictly defined input material stream. The Starlinger LNO (letter of non-objection) is based on PCR HDPE milk bottles with sorting purity of > 99 %. The LNO is granted for the use of up to 50 % of recyclate content in the HDPE container. The super-clean rHDPE flakes can be used for containers for fresh milk, juices, meat trays, and similar products under conditions E through G (i.e. room temperature filled and stored, refrigerated storage, and frozen storage).

 

rHDPE is a promising market within the food packaging industry. In the UK, 122,000 tons of HDPE milk bottles were consumed in 2010 and 93,000 tons were collected for recycling, generating a recycling rate of 76 %. Nevertheless, 22,700 tons of HDPE milk bottles were still landfilled that year (figures supplied by Recoup).

 

Due to the sophisticated technology of the viscotec equipment, cleaning efficiencies of around 99.9 % are achieved and make the recyclate comparable with virgin material. Food grade without compromise according to FDA is the premise. The decontamination dryer deCON can be used to make recycled bottles into dry, food-grade PET or HDPE, to feed a production extruder, or as a stand-alone unit.

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