Multilayer Packaging Recycling
Plastic is one of the main materials used for the packaging of all types of products, although, on many occasions, a single type of plastic is not enough to meet the characteristics and properties required by the market or the applicable regulatory framework (safety, insulation, protection, etc.). For this reason, the industry resorts to the use of multilayer materials for the packaging of its products, since the union of different plastic materials does manage to provide adequate protection against external agents, such as water and oxygen.
These laminated or multilayer materials are a major problem when it comes to being recycled, since the difference in melting points between different polymers: PET, polyolefins and aluminium, as well as inks and adhesives between the layers, prevents them from being reprocessed by extrusion of the multilayer product as a whole or, if reprocessing is achieved, They result in low-quality recycled plastic that can only be used in low value-added applications such as irrigation pipes and garbage bags.
Currently, the packaging of many products that we consume on a daily basis, such as: meat or fish trays, drinks in cartons (milk, juice, vegetable drinks...), pizzas, snacks..., are multilayer containers that cannot be recycled, and end up directly in the landfill, or can only be destroyed by incineration. Both solutions are disastrous for the natural environment.
This growing and unstoppable awareness of Sustainability leads to a commitment to increase recycling rates and prevent plastic waste from collapsing landfills or polluting seas and oceans. The European Union has reaffirmed its commitment to a more sustainable economy through the European Green Deal in order to promote efficient use of resources.
Aligned with this premise, FYCH's mission is to optimize and technically improve the management of plastic waste through innovative technologies that allow the processing of a greater number of materials, of which, until now, due to existing technological limitations, it was not or is not possible to recycle.
Annual landfill fee cost of large multilayer waste management companies
The disruptive technology that FYCH intends to bring to the market, allows the recycling of multilayer packaging mechanically, including all types of materials: pizza containers, yogurt cups, etc. poly-aluminum cartons, wrappers, etc.; obtaining, in both cases, as a result, high-quality recycled products suitable for reintroduction back into the packaging production chain.
Solving the very serious problems arising from plastic waste pollution is a necessity of the utmost magnitude, not only because it involves governments and supranational organizations due to its harmful effects on the environment, climate change and health, but also because it responds to a growing market trend among consumers.
Large producers of multilayer packaging are unable to recycle a high percentage of the packaging they produce because it is not recyclable using conventional technologies. Landfill management currently costs approximately €100/tonne and it is expected that this type of management will continue to rise and limit in the coming years. Some of the large multilayer waste management companies can have an annual landfill cost of more than 3 million euros. In addition to a multi-million dollar and growing expenditure due to the increase in landfill rates, this is a major image problem for companies in the eyes of consumers.
The technology developed by FYCH enables therecycling of multi-layer packaging and develops a new concept of the circular plastics industry. It converts multi-layer packaging, made up of various materials, into as many types of pure materials as there are layers in the packaging.
Pure materials that can be returned at the beginning of the production chain as raw materials identical to the originals, which makes it possible to build a sector of activity aligned with the principles of the Circular Economy.
This separation can be done with other technologies. The difference of the FYCH process is that only water and less than 5% of a type of chemical reagent are used in delamination with the consideration of NON-hazardous and environmentally friendly waste.
The implementation of Fych's technology for the recycling of multilayer packaging not only means savings in landfill fees for multilayer waste managers, but also a benefit by obtaining raw materials with properties very similar to those of a virgin polymer.