Arnott’s launches research program to help reduce plastic waste

The Arnott’s Group has partnered with Paco Industries and UNSW to progress technologies in recycling, bio plastics, and carbon capture.

The collaboration will work to address the plastic packaging challenges that face the food and beverage industry including post-consumer plastic waste and re-use of PET packaging.

PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) is one of the world’s most used plastic with 10.2 per cent of all plastics being made from PET and roughly a third of all PET packaging is used for packaging for food and drink around the world.

The main challenge for local recycling companies and municipal councils is the level of contamination on plastic making it harder to recycle without being thoroughly cleaned.

Paco is currently developing an innovative approach focusing on organic solvent technology for recycling based on using organic solvents that can isolate PET and has the potential to turn contaminated post-consumer PET waste back into food-grade PET for the food and beverage industry.

Steven Commerford, head of commercial at Paco, said the results of this project to date are incredibly exciting for both sustainable and commercial gains.

“We’re focused on creating real solutions that don’t come with caveats. We’re crafting solutions that are genuinely transformative, without the usual limitations of high costs, energy, and water usage, or short-term viability. This technology could revolutionise our approach to recycling and redefine the materials we consider recyclable.”

Paco’s innovative solvent technology is designed to eliminate contaminants such as organic material stuck to plastic food trays, soft drink bottles or other materials and contributes to the circular economy by reducing the need for virgin material production.

Simon Lowden, chief transformation officer at The Arnott’s Group, said working with Paco Industries and UNSW reflects their commitment as a business to go beyond their sustainability commitments and find innovative solutions so that The Arnott’s Group can continue to create delicious moments, not just for consumers, but for the value chain.

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