True Recycling Upscaling of flexible packaging in the plastics Circular Economy
TRUCE is a cooperative intercluster (Catalisti, Flanders’ FOOD) business project (type O&O) in which three companies from different sectors collaborate to reach a common objective.
Goal of the TRUCE project is, first of all, to develop new building blocks for highly functional, flexible packaging solutions that can be combined into fully recyclable mono-polyethylene (≥95% PE) structures. The project will also work on a lean protocol to assess the recyclability of packaging. The innovations pursued within this project, with respect to end-of-life of plastic packaging, are yet another important step towards a truly circular economy.
By bringing together the unique expertise from the different partners, the project will result in new innovative packaging designs and bring certainty to the recyclability at both small and larger scale. More particularly, Amcor will focus on the packaging design, Borealis on the polyethylene production, design and recycling, Eastman on specialty additives, Bostik on adhesives and Ghent University on the recyclability testing and predictive modelling. The first application testing will be performed at Puratos, who will also provide input for food product requirements. These tests will result in a proof of concept for these new recyclable flexible packaging structures.
Ghent University will perform the life cycle assessment (LCA) study of the innovative packaging designs. Finally, the consortium is completed by spearhead cluster Flanders’ FOOD, which actively supports the project.
TRUCE also seeks to develop a robust and targeted recyclability protocol, which is both lean and representative for the targeted recycling stream. This will, on the one hand, allow the project partners to do fact-based analyses of the improved recyclability of the newly developed structures at state-of-the-art recycling facilities. On the other hand, the protocol could align and integrate with existing evaluation systems, to bring the best of both worlds to industrial application and accelerate the implementation of recycling-ready structures into the market.
By involving a wide range of industrial partners throughout the value chain, TRUCE enables the testing of the developed structures on dedicated packaging lines at industrial scale, taking a critical step towards product testing in an operational environment and assuring functionality of the packaging towards the shelf-life performance of the packaged good. Life cycle assessment will help quantify the environmental sustainability performance of the new innovative packaging designs (with the building blocks of highly functional flexible packaging solutions) in particular applications. All in all, the results to be obtained by this project will represent yet another important step towards a truly circular economy.
The project is being developed by the following consortium of companies and research partners.