Revolutionizing Soft Plastics Recycling: Launch sustainable solutions

Revolutionizing Soft Plastics Recycling: Launch sustainable solutions

Rebooting Soft Plastics Collection and Recycling

The launch of Close the Loop’s TonerPlas line marks a significant milestone in the revival of soft plastics recycling in Australia, particularly following the REDcycle program’s collapse. This innovative approach to recycling is essential for meeting the ambitious APCO 2025 packaging targets. These targets aim for 100% reusable, recyclable, or compostable packaging, 70% of plastic being recycled or composted, 50% average recycled content in packaging, and phasing out single-use plastics.

The integration of TonerPlas into recycling strategies showcases how Close the Loop is leading the way in creating new end-of-life applications for soft plastics. TonerPlas, as explained by Jessica Ansell, marketing manager at Close the Loop, is an innovative product that combines reclaimed toner powder from print cartridges with post-consumer soft plastic materials. This process results in replacing virgin polymers in road specifications with recycled ones, demonstrating a practical and sustainable application of recycled plastics.

TonerPlas: A Solution for Today and Tomorrow

TonerPlas not only addresses the immediate need for effective soft plastics recycling but also offers long-term environmental benefits. It has been successfully utilized in numerous council road projects across Australia and major freeway upgrades in Victoria. The product not only utilizes challenging post-consumer waste streams but also boasts a lower carbon footprint and higher performance compared to standard road specifications.

Steve Morris, head of circulatory at Close the Loop, highlights that the new TonerPlas line has a significantly increased capacity, processing over 1 tonne/hour of complex polymers. This capacity is crucial for bridging the gap while complementary chemical recycling facilities are developed. Furthermore, Close the Loop is also manufacturing rFlex, a product that replaces virgin plastic in injection moulding applications, further expanding the scope of recycling innovations.

Beyond TonerPlas: Advancing Flexible Packaging Solutions

The transition towards simpler soft plastics and the move away from complex laminations are critical steps in improving recycling outcomes. Close the Loop, through its O F Packaging division, has been at the forefront of developing monopolymer packaging, aligning with circular economy standards. This focus not only benefits the environment but also supports the packaging industry in adapting to more recyclable and sustainable practices.

The collaboration between O F Packaging and Close the Loop is instrumental in driving the development of alternative packaging solutions. These efforts are recognized and awarded, such as the APCO Industry Sector Awards-Packaging Manufacturer & Supplier category, showcasing leadership in sustainable packaging initiatives.

Close the Loop’s Role in Shaping the Future of Recycling

Close the Loop continues to be a key recycling partner for upcoming soft plastics initiatives. Their expertise extends beyond TonerPlas, encompassing zero waste to landfill programs for various materials, including print consumables, cosmetics, batteries, and e-waste. With the support of government and industry, and guided by initiatives like the APCO soft plastics design for recycling guidelines and the National Plastic Recycling Scheme, Close the Loop is set to make significant strides in achieving a proper circular economy around packaging.

As we move towards a mandatory environment for recycling and sustainability, the innovations and contributions of companies like Close the Loop and O F Packaging are essential in shaping a sustainable future for plastics and packaging, driving the industry towards achieving environmental and sustainability goals.