Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box is introducing a new and more sustainable version of its highly regarded Vitop tap, the new Vitop Renew, which is made from bio-based PP resins. This development now combines an approach already taken with the bag inside the box, which is manufactured of E-recycled film EVOH, containing raw materials issued from plastic chemical recycling. This means the new bags are composed of 53% recycled and renewable content.
This chemical recycling is not however replacing the mechanical one. The materials which are difficult to recycle mechanically are treated by pyrolysis. This process takes a circular approach and provides a new means by which to increase plastic recycling rates, as it can be applied to a wider range of plastic waste. The crucial difference of such materials from the ones of traditional mechanical recycling is that the resins after pyrolysis have identical properties to virgin polymers, and therefore can be used for direct food contact packaging.
“Such recycled resins are still only available in very limited capacities, their production requires innovative approaches, big investments and strong market demand,” Thierry Minaud, CEO Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box comments. “Bag-in-Box already consists of 75% recyclable, renewable and biodegradable materials due to the paper-based box element of the design.
“We are now going further and are actively cooperating with the resin suppliers to increase the proportion of sustainable raw materials. We are ready to launch pilot projects partnering with our customers to boost the amount of recycled and renewable content in their Bag-in-Box packaging.”
Pascal Reina, R&D director, Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box, adds: “Bag-in-Box is proven to be the most resource efficient packaging for liquids, with an unbeaten product to packaging ratio. These bio-based or chemically recycled products are certified through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus (ISCC PLUS) scheme, by using the mass balance approach, they can be used as traditional polymer products.”
Vitop Renew and E-Recycled will expand the Smurfit Kappa Bag-in-Box range of environmentally friendly products, having already added the new thinner film E-Compact 60 to the portfolio, introduced to the market earlier this year.