In Progress
Material Class
specific materials
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET)

Recycling of PET in Sustainable Food Packaging Systems

Technical Thrust
Recycling & Recovery
Mechanical Recycling Technologies for Sorting, Separating, & Liberating Materials
project Members
The ohio state university logo
CIFT center for innovative food technologies logo
Wingate packaging logo
Sugarcreek brandworthy food solutions logo
Plastilene soluciones de pelicula logo
Mucell extrusion logo

Food packaging containers account for 30% of waste generation in the U.S., and less than 50% of this volume is currently recycled. That recycling rate is even less for the types of multilayer food packaging targeted in this project, including the brick-shaped cartons commonly used for milk, juices, soups, sauces, and more. The project team developed a process by which these multilayer materials can be replaced by a single mono-material packaging solution produced from up to 100% recycled PET (the same plastic that water bottles are made from) that can be recycled back into the same or comparable products with minimal reprocessing, handling, and transportation. The team is validating the performance of the materials and manufacturing process at industrial scale and is conducting a recycling pilot with the support of a MRF (material recycling facility) to quantify recycling rates and recycled material quality. Implementation is planned through the Ohio Safe Food & Packaging Initiative.