- Project Touchdown has begun with a two-month feasibility study to understand options for recycling “hard-to-recycle” flexible film packaging using Enval’s technology.
- Enval plans to use the project as a stepping-stone for establishing recycling plants in the United States.
- The initial phase of Touchdown will assess user requirements and agree on potential locations for several of Enval’s recycling plants.
Enval has launched Touchdown, a joint project with The Kraft Heinz Co. (NASDAQ: KHC) and Sonoco (NYSE: SON) aimed at improving packaging sustainability and accelerating the deployment of novel plastic recycling solutions in the United States.
For Enval, the ultimate aim of the project is to see its first recycling plants in the United States. These plants will be capable of recycling previously unrecyclable plastic packaging using the company’s unique proprietary pyrolysis technology for treating low-density packaging waste. Enval’s process has dual objectives. It transforms plastics into oil feedstock to produce new plastic, effectively closing the loop on packaging recycling and therefore enabling previously unrecyclable packaging to become valuable and environmentally responsible. Furthermore, it is the only technology in the world capable of recycling plastic aluminium laminates by splitting them into high-value oil and aluminium with a low-carbon footprint.
The first phase of the project will involve Enval assessing the current disposal solutions for materials used by Sonoco and Kraft Heinz during the production and use respectively of flexible plastic packaging. At the end of the first phase, Enval will produce, with input from the other partners, a feasibility study which will include potential locations for future recycling plants in a way in which the financial and environmental costs associated with transporting the packaging to the recycling plants is minimised. This approach is possible because the Enval technology was conceived in a modular way which ensures that economic viability of the process starts at a “small” scale, thanks to its low CAPEX.
Enval will then continue the project by building these plants, which could initially target the treatment of scrap generated by Sonoco and Kraft Heinz, but with the idea of incorporating post-consumer waste in the future.
Dr Carlos Ludlow-Palafox, CEO of Enval, commented:
“We’re thrilled to be working with two groups as important in the consumer packaged goods and packaging communities as Kraft Heinz and Sonoco. We’re convinced that it is only via these types of collaborations, which involve players at different stages of the supply chain, that new technologies such as ours can be deployed quicker. We must quickly establish new and better infrastructure to succeed in reducing plastic pollution and decreasing carbon emissions.”
Linda Roman, Head of Packaging Growth & Technology at Kraft Heinz, said:
“We see a high-demand for recyclable packaging amongst our consumers, which matches our goal of offering more sustainable products. The company began a relationship with Enval in 2011 to help construct their first commercial-scale plant in the UK, and we are excited to also explore opportunities to advance packaging recycling with Enval in the United States.”
Jeff Schuetz, Staff Vice President – Global Technology, Consumer Packaging at Sonoco, added:
“While flexible packaging has a low environmental footprint, we recognize that innovation is needed in recycling technologies to improve its end-of-life options. Sonoco believes the combination of product and recycling innovation will provide a compelling solution and we are happy to partner with Enval on this exciting project.”
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