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WP3 - Materials and processes for the manufacturing of reusable plastic packaging

Stéphanie SanJuan

24 mai 2023

State of play of WP3

WP3, Materials and processes for the manufacturing of reusable plastic packaging, started in month 1 and will last for 30 months. The WP3 general objetives are to develop innovative solution for the manufacture of reusable plastic packaging, taking into consideration the requirements of the different types of process and the reciclability of the end-of-life packaging. WP3 divided into 3 different tasks related to the functional mapping of materials and testing for reusable plastic packaging, the validation of the manufacturing settings of reusable packaging per each use cases, and the assessment of recyclability and recycled content based on Recyclass protocol.  


Over the last 8 months, the WP3 work has been focused in the first task related to the mapping and selection of reusable material, where we have held several meetings with all end users; Ausolan, Down Meats, Vytal, Asevi and Smurfit Kappa, which have allowed us to define the material needs of each case.

Beyond the needs of each case,  a study has been carried out about reusable packaging solution avalaible on the market. Based on these study, the technological leaders of WP3 ( AIMPLAS, IPC and TUS) perfomed a selection of materials, petrol based common materials, biopolymer such as PLA, technical recycled materiales, such as Tritan or PETG, recycled materials, such as rPE, that could be used for the final applications. Different grades of polypropylene have been selected as it is a fully recyclable material and its properties allow it to be in contact with foodstuffs without affecting them. Finally, PBT material has been selected based on its use in some reusable packaging application on the basis of a study carried out in this field.


Based on the requirements of each use cases a testing protocol for a reusable materials study has been developed,  where:

·        The definition of specimen journeys was also elaborated where all the specimens will be first submit to a simulation of contamination with tomato sauce. After that, part of the specimens will be microwaved before being subjected to a cleaning protocol, and the rest of the specimens will be directly submitted to the cleaning protocol. In this respect, the protocol was defined by TUS and Actia has been involved in this work package to perform the washing under industrial conditions.

·        the most relevant tests were identified in order to perform the screening of the materials selected previously, these include: mechanical tests as flexural, impact, scratch, and dimension stability as well as optical tests, as transparency and color.

The specimens to be tested are currently being produced both at Aimplas and IPC by injection moulding and it is planned to have all the specimens injected by mid-june.

The partners involved in this work package are: AIMPLAS and IPC, as Technological Centers,  and TUS as Technological University, Knauf as packaging manufacturer, Uzaje as end-of-life packaging management, Vytal, Dawn Meats, Ausolan, Asevi and Smurfit Kappa, as end-user.

Figure 1: Testing protocol for materials selection

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