Vita Nova says mono PET use can boost recycling

European initiative has been designed to promote use of mono PET flexible packaging.

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Brussels-based BOPET Films Europe and Netherlands-based Searious Business say they have launched an initiative called Vita Nova to “deliver valuable results which will enable the European flexible packaging market to respond to growing pressures from both the public and governments to improve the recyclability of flexible packaging.”

Vita Nova says it is inviting interested parties from throughout the industry to join in the effort, which focuses on mono PET (polyethylene terephthalate), including producers, sorters, recyclers, machine manufacturers and brand owners.

Says BOPET Films Europe vice chair Michael Kreuter, “We cannot achieve these goals in isolation, and through this Vita Nova initiative we hope to pull together knowledge from across the value chain to improve the circularity of flexible packaging”

At least 25 percent of all flexible packaging applications rely on the material properties provided by PET, and in many cases moving to a polyolefin alternative will lead to an increase in material usage and a drop in packing efficiency without improving the end-of-life outcome for the packaging, says Vita Nova.

Broadening the scope to include mono PET structures creates an option for monomer recycling, which Vita Nova says is a lower cost and lower carbon form of chemical recycling, “with a more realistic possibility of closed loop recycling of flexible packaging [scrap] into new packaging products.”

Replacing mixed plastic flexible packaging with mono PET solutions would enable better recyclability, improve resource efficiency and lead to greenhouse gas emission reductions, states the group.