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Research for processes and quality procedures to add value to recycled plastics for food contact applications

Research for processes and quality procedures to add value to recycled plastics for food contact applications

16-Apr-12
A 12-strong European consortium has secured EU funding for the three-year SupercleanQ project, which, it is hoped, will add value to recycled plastics for food contact applications. The three-year project, called SuperCleanQ has received funding from the European Union�s Seventh Framework Programme managed by REA - Research Executive Agency under grant agreement no.285889. The project results will accelerate the development of new recycling processes for the wider food contact materials market and provide quality assurance for converters and end-users of recycled products applications for food contact thereby overcoming barriers and expanding this high value recycling market. The project consists of a twelve-strong consortium that has secured �1,916,300 of EU funding to develop quality assurance tools and procedures for plastics recycling processes targeted at food contact applications. The tools will be applied to a new process for the recycling of coloured and layered PET into food contact applications that cannot be processed by current PET recycling facilities. The research will be used to develop a new process for the recycling of coloured and layered PET into food contact applications that cannot be processed by current PET recycling facilities. The project results are expected to accelerate the development of new recycling processes and provide quality assurance for converters and end-users of recycled products applications for food contact. This would then overcome barriers and expand a high value recycling market. The companies, who along with the EU will commit a total of �2.4 mln to the project, include Fraunhofer Institute, S+S Separation and Sorting Technology and Extricom from Germany; Smithers Rapra Technology, The University of Exeter and the British Plastics Federation from the UK; Dentis, Aliplast and Assocomaplast from Italy; MOS from the Netherlands; and EuPC and CEN from Belgium.

The goals of the SuperCleanQ project are to develop quality control and quality assurance tools and procedures for plastics recycling processes targeted at food contact applications to enable SMEs to conform to EC regulations on recycled plastic materials and articles intended to come into contact with foods. The SuperCleanQ project will also expand the high value market for recycled plastics and help European SME recyclers reprocess plastic waste that is currently being exported.
SuperCleanQ Objectives : The advancements over the current state of the art are expected to be:
• A post-market challenge test for validation of recycled food contact materials with 100% reliability
• A post-process validation quality protocol for assuring the efficacy of plastics recycling processes for food contact applications with 100% reliability
• Development of a process to recycle the 700,000 tpa of currently unrecyclable coloured and layered PET that cannot be processed by existing PET recycling facilities for food contact packaging
• In-line monitoring for process quality control and to ensure that levels of chemicals comply with food contact regulations.
 
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