HAVI Global Solutions (HGS) sought a way to recycle post-consumer food packaging back into food-grade packaging, which is considered high-value recycling. To date, the potential for contamination has prevented such initiatives. Packaging is necessary to prevent spoiling, provide carry-out service, and offer the storage and apportioning of products in an easy way. However, after its use, the packaging becomes waste that generally goes to landfill, incineration or low-value recycling processes.
HGS partnered with Bartling, a food packaging supplier, to develop an acceptable food-contact grade of recycled plastic (RPET). One solution is super-cleaning post-consumer waste from food packaging, enabling its recycling into further food packaging applications. The collected plastic (in this case PET) is shredded, washed, extruded, filtered and degassed under high temperatures in a vacuum. This makes the postconsumer recycled resin as acceptable as virgin resin in nearly all applications.
In the summer of 2009, Bartling, under the lead of HGS at McDonald's France, introduced the first frappe cup and lid made out of 40 percent RPET. This means a savings of 123 metric tons in virgin material requirements and a reduction of 123 metric tons to the consumer waste stream. Other products are now in the pipeline with a planned use of 50 percent RPET.