Charpak joins household names Unilever & Veolia in cutting edge recycling collaboration

Silverstone Technology Cluster

17th November 2020


STC member Charpak Ltd is part of a four-way business collaboration along with Unilever, HSSMI and Veolia that is to create a cutting-edge recycling facility in the UK.

The collaboration will develop the country’s first dual PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottle and tray recycling facility.

Supported by a digital twin created by HSSMI, the facility will be capable of recycling 100% of clear rigid PET in a ‘closed-loop’ system…

The UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is supporting the collaboration via a £20m fund that is also contributing to three further projects.

Unilever will investigate the non-food contact recycled PET produced from the facility across its home and personal care range, so avoiding the use of food contact grade material in these non-food products.

Charpak, based in Huntingdon, will use the flakes produced in its trays – making tray-to-tray recycling a reality.

This will create a new complementary non-food closed loop for recycled PET and widen availability of the material for use in bottles and trays.

Through the development and use of the digital twin, HSSMI will pioneer a virtual engineering approach in the waste industry, which will help optimise the facility and identify potential commercial challenges.

If initial trials are successful, the proposed facility would process 35,000tpa (tons per annum) of mixed PET packaging waste at an existing Veolia site.

Paul Smith, Managing Director of Charpak Ltd, said: “As a business, Charpak Ltd has been at the forefront of driving sustainability in plastic packaging. UK users across their range are looking to improve the sustainability of packaging.

“This UKRI grant will allow Charpak Ltd to fully research and test the process before launching to the wider market.

“The benefits for the environment are huge, with less plastic waste being burnt, landfilled or shipped abroad.

“We are hopeful that this project will lead to a true ‘tray-to-tray’ recycling scheme to create better circularity with the attendant cut in emissions keeping this precious resource local, to be used again and again. Anything that improves recycling rates is to be applauded.”



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