Circular Packaging

Demonstration plant to recycle post-consumer packaging and combined waste into clean raw materials for high-quality packaging materials

© Fraunhofer IVV

The packaging of foodstuffs and consumer goods has to comply with many different requirements that are met, for instance, by using multi-layer plastic laminates. Because many waste treatment plants are only able to recycle packaging made of monomaterials, multi-layer laminates from domestic waste are usually incinerated instead of being reused. However, the new German packaging law sets ambitious targets: It aims to raise the mandatory recycling rate for plastic packaging from today’s 36 percent to 63 percent in 2022.

Innovative processes like CreaSolv® make it possible to separate multi-layer laminates, but are still relatively unknown on the market and are not yet available as industry solutions because of insufficient or missing plant capacities.

The “Circular Packaging” project aims to demonstrate the economic efficiency and the potential of this technology. A fully wired pilot plant will be built for this purpose with a nominal processing capacity of about 5 m³ of plastic waste per day. The aim is the high-quality material recycling of polymers from currently incinerated waste fractions with a large share of multi-layer laminated packaging. The plant will first be tested in continuous operation in a test campaign and then scaled up by the factor 15 to an industrial demonstration plant.

As the future operator of the plant, Lober GmbH & Co. Abfallentsorgungs KG is responsible for coordinating the project. The Fraunhofer Institute for Process Engineering and Packaging IVV developed the recycling process and scaled it up from laboratory to technical scale. Together with LÖMI GmbH, it has developed the process equipment for the pilot plant scale.