PG Sustainability Solutions

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 is committed to advancing sustainable developments that can be scaled for maximum impact. Our work with recycled polypropylene is evidence of the power of holistic innovation to bring forward meaningful solutions that can positively impact a broad range of applications and drive circularity of materials.
Lee Ellen Drechsler, Senior Vice President of R&D, Procter & Gamble

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.

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P&G’s polypropylene recycling technology can take reclaimed material to near-virgin quality. This advancement was developed by P&G material scientists in Corporate R&D and is promising more material circularity in the future.

Visit P&G’s website to learn more.

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