Little Rock, Arkansas-based Revolution has received a letter of no objection (LNO) from the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the company’s proprietary recycling method for linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE), allowing the postconsumer resin (PCR) to be used in food-contact applications. Revolution's PCR can be used at content levels up to 100 percent in manufacturing food-contact packaging for all food types under nearly all Conditions of Use as defined by the FDA, according to the company, marking first for the recycling and consumer packaging industries.
Revolution has recycling and manufacturing operations throughout the United States, diverting more than 300 million pounds of plastic from landfills annually to process into recycled resin that it uses to manufacture can liners, carryout bags and construction films.
Increased demand for recycled content, driven in part by rising consumer awareness and organizations such as the U.S. Plastics Pact, which has targeted using 30 percent recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025, has created the need for recyclers to meet the quality standards and food-contact requirements set by consumer packaging applications. Revolution says its advancements in flexible film recycling should help bridge this gap by providing the widest possible applications to date for the use of LLDPE PCR in flexible films.
The company says developing a method to produce food-contact quality PCR has been a long-term project through which Revolution leveraged its more than 25 years of flexible film recycling experience. The company has developed new proprietary processes, testing methods and quality control measures to meet the stringent requirements specified by the FDA.
“This was a multiyear, targeted project to improve our process, and it has really paid off in showing what can be done with recycled content,” Scott Coleman, senior vice president of Strategy and Growth at Revolution says. “We feel this is just the beginning of tremendous growth and application development for PCR in flexible films.”
The company says it is expanding capacity and ramping up processes to meet market demand and expects additional approvals and advancements based on this first achievement, paving the way for further innovation in PCR production.
Revolution CEO Sean Whiteley says, “We are committed to redefining what is possible for flexible film recycling, and the FDA LNO is just the next step in our progress towards even more flexible film solutions that deliver true sustainability to our customers and the consumer packaging industry as a whole.”
In addition to this achievement, the company also was among the first to be certified under the Recycled Material Standard, which was developed by the environmental nonprofit GreenBlue, Charlottesville, Virginia. The company also has joined the Association of Plastic Recyclers’ PCR Certification Program and has had the PCR in its end products certified by SCS Global and AM Testing.