Consumers increasingly expect the consumer products brands that they use to expand their use of recycled materials, including plastics. The truth is that some plastics are easier to recycle than others, and some consumer products, particularly some forms of packaging that carry products that we eat or use on our bodies, have stringent quality demands that may seem to negate the ability to incorporate recycled materials.
Consumers expect recycled plastics for many applications to have largely the same sensory properties as virgin plastics products. One use case that can be an issue is the carryover of objectionable odors from the raw recyclate.
"Odor is a typical problem with contaminated household waste such as LDPE films, HDPE containers, and PE closures. It is essential that odor is removed if the PCR material is to be reused in high-quality packaging for cosmetic products or food," explains Clemens Kitzberger, EREMA Group Business Development Manager for Post Consumer Applications.
It’s no wonder then that the demand for EREMA ReFresher technology is increasing, as plastics recyclers look to increase the value of their post-consumer recycled materials on the market. Eliminating the contaminants that cause odor opens up new opportunities for expansion.
Thanks to the combination of the INTAREMA® TVEplus® RegrindPro® machine with the ReFresher, EREMA can help recyclers to process post-consumer HDPE with up to 100% usage in end products meant for direct contact with food and beverages as confirmed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). That means that some recycled plastics are now FDA-approved plastics for food contact.
Out of a total of more than 25 ReFresher modules sold in total, 19 were ordered in the past 18 months. EREMA believes that this is driven by regulatory goals in certain key markets, goals of consumer packaged goods brands to meet certain recycled content goals, and the fact that recycling technologies are becoming more and more efficient.
An EREMA Extruder-ReFresher System Under Test