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Circular Economy

Single-material packaging – Because in recycling, less is more

15/06/2022

Although multimaterial plastic packaging components are essentially recyclable, nowadays recycling this type of waste is still a challenge for the circular economy due to a lack of technologies for the efficient separation of these different components, which makes the process laborious and costly from start to finish. In addition, the final product is often lacking the expected quality, since the difficulty of separation can result in the contamination of one material by another.

 

Preventing, or at least minimizing this contamination requires a series of processes: the first step is a primary separation followed by grinding, which generates granules that will be washed and pass through another sorting step, separated by color, density and other properties to then be processed.

 

We talked about recyclability here.

 

Illustrating the challenge

 

The parts that make up a plastic package, such as lids and labels, for example, as well as the different layers, are most often made of different polymers, which require different recycling processes when their molecules are not compatible.

 

PET and PVC are a classic example. This is because PET requires high temperatures to be processed, which causes PVC to be reduced to some contaminating substances such as hydrochloric acid. Therefore, even small amounts of PVC can make it impossible to recycle PET.

 

The advantages of monomaterial in recycling

 

Packaging with only one type of plastic does not require the separation of material, facilitating and speeding up recycling, aside from resulting in a better quality resin, suitable for more applications, which increases its added value and attracts the interest of the entire chain, from collectors to transformers.

 

So why produce packaging with different materials?

 

Because each material offers different packaging characteristics, such as strength, impermeability, gas barrier, light protection, and together they perform the function of preserving the product in the best possible way.

 

For this reason, it is challenging to develop mono-material solutions that also guarantee effective product protection.

 

Valgroup’s mono-material packaging

 

Sustainability has always guided Valgroup’s actions, so we design solutions that strengthen the circular economy and offer the reliability our customers are looking for.

 

In our portfolio you will find sustainable and innovative mono-material packaging, developed to meet the needs of the market, and the environment.

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