Made from annually renewable plant sugars, NatureWorks’ Ingeo biomaterials have an average carbon footprint 80% smaller than petrochemical-based plastics and needs
In an effort to continue its commitment to sustainable packaging, P&G has focused on a new challenge: how to use more recycled content in packaging while also enabling more packaging to be recycled. The company could see that the increased demand for recycled content threatened to outpace the availability of recycled material, largely because a major packaging material which P&G and others depend upon is polypropylene plastic. While technically recyclable, it is difficult to remove contaminants and colors from used polypropylene plastic with traditional mechanical recycling methods, so it is not desirable (or accepted) for many packaging applications.
P&G scientists set out to improve the quality of recycled polypropylene by addressing the removal of contaminants and colors from the material. To accomplish this, they looked to dissolution recycling, an advanced physical recycling approach that involves dissolving polymers in solvent to remove both extractable and mechanically entrained contaminants. In this process, the molecular structure is preserved as contaminants are “washed” away, leaving behind a purified polymer. As part of a broader portfolio of solutions, this innovation enables P&G and companies around the world to tap into sources of recycled plastics that deliver nearly identical performance and properties as virgin materials for a broad range of applications. P&G has licensed this technology to be scaled so it can become an industry-wide solution and help supply the nonwovens industry (among others) with high grade, high purity recycled resins for manufacturing.