Pack2theLoop – Closing the circle of polyolefin packaging

Nina Krempl, Elisabeth Pinter, Elisabeth Jahn, Lorenz Bichler

Publikation: KonferenzbeitragPosterForschung


The current contradiction of high amounts of plastic packaging waste in Austria and the comparatively low recycling rate, which is about 26 % since 15 years and needs to be increased to 50 % by 2025, leads to the requirement of new strategies in plastics recy-cling and waste reduction. Especially the integration of recyclates into the production of new equivalent products, which is still a major challenge, represents a promising ap-proach.
For this purpose, the cross-industry cooperation project Pack2theLoop aims to recycle single-use plastic packaging composed of polyolefins and polystyrene with the focus on the development of quality-assured recyclates from post-consumer packaging which are then applied in the production of new packaging, closing the value-added loop. This concept will be demonstrated with two use cases, which encompass (a) the blow moulding of bottles made of polypropylene or high-density polyethylene and (b) the thermoforming of cups made of polystyrene or polypropylene.
The 5 comprised project innovation goals are (1) the definition of the requirements for packaging in forms of design4recycling, which sets the requirements for the material, a circular packaging design and related optimisation of existing waste management structures as well as design from recycling. The food law requirements for packaging are also taken into account in the form of a risk assessment. (2) An end of life ap-proach of plastic packaging waste in Austria will be carried out by simulating the poten-tial composition of sorting samples. Based on manual sorting, scenario analyses will be used to examine the required sorting depths and qualities of polyolefin and polystyrene packaging waste for effective recycling and for a potential food contact approval. (3) The improvement of the recyclability of packaging products will build the basic prereq-uisite for mechanical recycling. This includes characterisation techniques for the quality assessment of recycled plastics and the derivation of quality standards. (4) On the ba-sis of use case b, a safety assessment of recyclates in food context is carried out. The conditions in the individual process steps (collection, sorting, washing, recycling and production) are worked out. These provide detailed results regarding the quality criteria to be fulfilled in the future under food law. (5) Finally, the processability of recyclates is investigated, including the definition of material parameters, the use of online quality control in the process step and the development of a catalogue of measures for the material groups of the two use cases.
At the end of the project, a handbook summarizing scientifically founded basic knowledge about (a) a qualitative processing of post-consumer recycled materials and (b) the establishment of a "design for/from recycling” for sustainable and recyclable packaging, will be provided to the plastics industry. This handbook considers the goals of the European Union regarding the plastic packaging recycling in the short term and will contribute to the UN sustainable development goals in the long term. From an envi-ronmental perspective Pack2theLoop will contribute to the determination of an optimal recycling rate for hollow body packaging. The recycling of this packaging will maxim-ise the benefits for different environmental aspects. The fact- and method-based ap-proach will help to further objectify the social and political discussion on recycling quo-tas and provide a scientifically documented strategy for packaging recycling to the in-dustry.
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 9 Nov. 2022
VeranstaltungRecy & Depotech 2022 - Montanuniversität Leoben, Leoben, Österreich
Dauer: 9 Nov. 202211 Nov. 2022


KonferenzRecy & Depotech 2022


  • Kreislaufwirtschaft
  • Polyolefine
  • Polystyrol
  • Lebensmittelverpackungen
  • Kosmetikverpackungen
  • Compoundieren
  • Analysen

Dieses zitieren