Recycling world first
INEOS is to work with French dairy group Lactel to produce the world's first UHT milk bottles from recycled plastic. Initially 140,000 milk bottles will be made at Lactel's Montauban production plant in France, using plastic waste that has been turned back into high-density polyethylene using advanced recycling technology.
The collaboration is viewed by both companies as a major milestone on the road to creating a circular economy for the packaging industry.
Recycled plastics have, in the past, not been allowed to come into contact with food or liquid because second-hand plastics risk contamination, which can be dangerous for human health. This collaboration could help to change that.
“Using advanced recycling, we will be able to supply virgin quality polymer from recycled plastic that is ideal for even the most demanding food contact applications like milk,” said Xavi Cros, CEO INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe/South. “It’s another big step in the right direction.”
Lactel, which was founded in 1967, is the first dairy brand, in collaboration with INEOS, to explore a solution for UHT milk bottles.
“We are extremely excited to bring this new environmental innovation to our iconic milk bottles,” said General Manager Anne Charles-Pinault.
INEOS will use advanced recycling technology to convert the plastic waste into raw materials for its European crackers.
Those raw materials will replace gas and oil. But the end result will be the same – high-density polyethylene of the highest quality that can be used by Lactel to make its UHT milk bottles.
Lactel’s plant has already received the blessing of the globally-respected Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials.
It has certified that the bottles produced in this way will be compliant with food safety regulations and fully recyclable.