Amcor prints first recycled soft plastic food wrapper
Package printing giant Amcor has printed its first ever soft plastic food wrapper made with recycled content, for the Nestlé KitKat brand of chocolate bars.
Food grade recycled soft plastic packaging is a vital missing link in Australia’s bid to improve waste management and build a circular economy, and the prototype KitKat wrapper represents Australia’s opportunity to close the loop on recycling soft plastics.
Nestlé is the world’s second biggest plastic polluter, behind Coca-Cola.
Here's how the prototype was made here in Australia: Soft plastics, which were collected (via RedCycle and kerbside collection – more on this below), sorted and cleaned by iQ Renew, were then converted by technology startup Licella into liquid Plasticrude – a synthetic crude oil consisting of 100 per cent recycled plastic.
The Plasticrude was fed into Viva Energy’s Geelong Refinery, where it was processed in the Residual Catalytic Cracking Unit, to turn it into the basis of the polymer products created by LyondellBasell.
The food-grade propylene created by LyondellBassell was used by Taghleef Industries, to create a metallised film, which was used by Amcor Flexibles to create and print the prototype KitKat wrapper, before delivery to Nestlé.
Amcor Flexibles director of sustainability, Richard Smith,said, “This collaboration provides evidence of how soft plastics can be part of the circular economy when stakeholders across the entire value chain work together. Soft plastics are a great packaging format, which are strong, have great barrier properties, are lightweight and cost efficient. And now we know they can be recycled and reused in packaging.
“This is a fantastic outcome for the environment and our communities as all of the benefits of soft plastics are retained and there is also less waste in the environment.”