Schwarz Group Tests Chemical Recycling

PreZero, the environmental division of the Schwarz Group, has initiated a new pilot project together with Sabic: With this project, the Schwarz Group is the first trading company in Germany to use packaging materials that are produced using chemical recycling.

Mechanical recycling has so far only made it possible to a very limited extent to produce new packaging from recycled food packaging. That’s why PreZero, the Schwarz Group’s environmental division, is now also working on chemical recycling as part of a pilot project. “In order to get to know and understand chemical recycling better, in addition to successful mechanical recycling, we have initiated a first pilot together with our project partner Sabic,” says Dietmar Böhm, Managing Director of PreZero.

“Sabic already took a big step forward over a year ago with the chemically recycled products from the TrueCircle portfolio to close the waste cycle of plastics,” emphasizes Stephan Eltink, Director Polyethylene Europe at Sabic. In the chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste, the old plastics, especially composite plastics and packaging waste, which otherwise could only be used for energy recovery, are converted into pyrolysis oil in a high-temperature process. Like fossil raw materials, this oil is then used at the beginning of the chemical production chain.

Test run with carrot packaging

According to the information provided, the high quality and hygiene requirements for food packaging are met by these products. As an end product, packaging for carrots will be produced as part of the pilot project. The carrot bags are to be used in some Lidl and Kaufland stores in Germany by the end of 2020. They can be mechanically recycled after use. The material used for the packaging is ISCC-certified, which means that it meets the requirements of this sustainability certification system for raw materials and markets.

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