NEXTLOOPP, the revolutionary recycling project by Nextek Limited has recently been awarded the Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation during Packaging Europe’s Sustainability Awards. They have released results of their tracer-based sorting trials which were done in TOMRA in September 2021.
At maximum production speed, the equipment was able to sort food-grade plastic packaging waste at 99.9% sorting purity. The machine was not only able to identify food packaging from non-food types, but it sorted waste down to different plastic polymer types. The outcome of these trials can change the way single-use post-consumer food packaging waste can be recycled back into the packaging economy. NEXTLOOPP also features PolyPRISM™, a patented decontamination process. These also meet regulations set forth by Food Standards Authorities in the U.K. and E.U.
The announcement of results signals 12 months of NEXTLOOPP working towards its goal of closing the loop on food-grade polypropylene packaging (FGPP). The U.K. alone yields 210,000 tonnes of FGPP. With this groundbreaking project, the country can save up to 105,600 tonnes in carbon emissions if 63,000 tonnes of PP are recycled per annum. This results in a lower carbon footprint and returning PP back to be used once again.
“During recent trials held at our TOMRA Test Centre we achieved very promising results on all Polypropylene 3D samples in all test runs with state-of-the-art NIR/VIS technology. We exceeded the required 95% purity for food-grade in each test run. The next important milestones will be a field demonstration as well as demonstrating chemical compliance with food-grade regulation” said Ralph Uepping, Technical Director at TOMRA.
Professor Edward Kosior, founder of Nextek, believes the NEXTLOOPP project is the catalyst to transform current FGrPP recycling and become the next food-grade recycling success story. PET was first and now it’s the turn of PP.