Recycling Post-Consumer Film Trials

12th December 2016

Trials were carried out using fully comingled post-consumer film packaging to manufacture products that could be used by the retail sector such as refuse sacks, in store display panels and external hoardings.

Key points
The trials showed that a range of products can be manufactured successfully, including refuse sacks, external hoardings and in-store displays.
The retail sector is exploring opportunities to sell and/or use the products within their store networks provided they show an economic or environmental benefit.

Overview

Overview

Three different trials were carried out, one at a refuse bag manufacturer and two at panel board manufacturers. Each trial used material from different sources such as film collection from a material recycling facility, collected kerbside sourced comingled film, and post-consumer recyclate sourced from a retail store’s front and back of store waste.

Further research

Additional research showed that new variants on conventional near-infrared (NIR) sorters offer the potential to address the technical challenges of sorting plastic films. The trials show how the NIRs with Turbosorters® separate the majority of household PE film from the 2D fraction of a UK kerbside co-mingled collection. 

The economic assessment suggests that using NIR sorters of the type tested may be more beneficial than hand sorting in UK MRFs processing household plastic film from co-mingled kerbside collection, due to the reduced operating costs of NIR sorters.

The research also shows that resulting PE film could be successfully reprocessed through existing facilities to produce a high quality PE pellet suitable for end-market application

To download the reports, please use the following chapters:

Trials

Processing trials for household film waste

Summary report for demonstration trials assessing novel near-infrared sorting of household plastic film waste

This report focuses on the sorting trials using the NIR, but also provides an overview of the additional steps required in order to confirm the quality of the film produced, including endmarket application:

  • Sourcing of appropriate feedstock for the sorting trials (Casepak MRF, Leicester, UK)
  • Testing of the NIR sorters (BS Environnement MRF, Nîmes, France)
  • Reprocessing of film to produce polyethylene (PE) pellet (Régéfilms, Abidos, France)
  • Manufacturing test using the resulting PE pellet (CeDo, Telford, UK)

Jump to:

Introduction >>
Description of the technology used in the project >>
Generation of feedstock for the sorting trial >>
Methodology for the trials >>
Results >>
Generation of PE pellet >>
Manufacture of end-product >>
Economic assessment >>
Overall conclusions >>

Download this report >>

Post-consumer film recycling

Summary report of a series of manufacturing trials using post-consumer comingled film, to identify a range of applications relevant to the retail sector environment

The main objectives of the project were to:

  • Undertake collection and pre-processing trials to process comingled film into a usable form of LDPE for the manufacturing trials
  • Undertake trials with three manufacturing companies using post-consumer and retail waste film to make products which met an existing commercial specification
  • Determine whether the products manufactured during the trials are suitable for adoption by the retail sector within their stores network and as products to be sold to their customers.

Jump to:

Introduction >>
Manufacturing trials >>
Product applications >>
Conclusions and recommendations >>

Download the full report >>

CeDo manufacturing trial

CeDo is a European market leader in the supply of a range of household products sold primarily as retailers’ own branded products. The company has a number of manufacturing facilities across Europe including a plant in Telford, UK.

Jump to:

Background >>
Trial information >>
Results and discussion >>
Conclusions and recommendations >>

Download the full trial report >>

Processing of LDPE film at Ecoplast

The trial was undertaken with Ecoplast at its processing facility in Wildon, Austria. Ecoplast is a leading plastics recycling organisation that deals with a range of polymers including LDPE and high density polyethylene (HDPE). It specialises in the processing of post-use LDPE film.

Jump to:

Background >>
Trial information >>
Results and discussion >>
Conclusions and recommendations >>

Download the full trial report >>

Report of panel manufacturing trial at Protomax Plastics Limited

Protomax is a plastic engineering company based in London, and Swansea, with machine building facilities in Piesendorf, Austria. Protomax has produced a prototype machine P2 capable of processing comingled waste streams to manufacture a range of panels, which can be used in a number of applications including for example display panels, hoardings, shutterings and security panels.

Jump to:

Background >>
Trial information >>
Results and discussion >>
Conclusions and recommendations >>

Download the full trial >>

Film separation at Biffa Waste Services Ltd

The Biffa MRF at Trafford Park was selected as a trial host due to its states of the art recycling equipment coupled with the high volume of post-consumer kerbside collected household dry recyclable material that it processes.

Jump to:

Background >>
Trial information >>
Results and discussion >>
Conclusions and recommendations >>

Download the report >>

Centriforce manufacturing trial

This trial was conducted by Centriforce Products Ltd. On 9th March 2011. Centriforce in an established plastics processor, turning a range of plastic waste into rigid products.

Jump to:

Background >>
Trial information >>
Results and discussion >>
Conclusions and recommendations >>

Download the report >>

Agglomeration trial at Hanbury Recycling

Hanbury Recycling take medium to low grade plastic film, shred and agglomerate the material and sell its product to extrusion companies in the UK including Centriforce Products. Hanbury Recycling was chosen as the partner to deliver this stage of the trial due to its experience of regularly sorting and agglomerating material for Centriforce.

Jump to:             

Background >>
Trial information >>
Results and discussion >>
Conclusions and recommendations >>

Download the report >>

Where next?

Want to know more about plastics in Dry Materials? Take a look at our reports, guides, tools and case studies for further information:

Reports >>
Guides >>
Tools >>
Case studies >>