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A number of leading brands are participating in a TNO study to make food packaging more sustainable. The companies will collect plastic food packaging from the kitchen and rejected reusable cups from McDonald’s and recycle them into new food packaging that consists out of at least 35% recycled material.

In this project led by TNO/Brightlands Materials Center, packaging waste and cups are collected from McDonald’s restaurants, transported and recycled and then reused in the restaurants. This concerns packaging made of flexible polyethylene (LDPE) and hard PP packaging.
The pursuit of food safety and quality, combined with environmental and economical sustainability. With this project we want to develop new packaging made from recycled material that meets the stringent requirements for food safety and product quality, so that it is eligible for certification from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). We are also developing a standardized procedure for the use of recyclate in food packaging. Next to food safety and sustainability, we will also include the economics of recycling in this research.
Collaboration in the packaging value chain. Unique to this project is the collaboration between all parties from the packaging value chain. The consortium partners are: McDonald’s, LyondellBasell, HAVI, OPACKGROUP, Haval, FrieslandCampina, LambWeston/Meijer, The Coca-Cola Company, Wageningen Research, CHILL, Triskelion and TNO/Brightlands Materials Center.

All parties involved see cooperation throughout the value chain as a prerequisite for achieving circular food packaging. The project started in October. In this first phase we will develop a detailed project plan for submitting to the Growth Fund. Based on a shared sustainable ambition, we will investigate in practice the possibility of applying recyclate material into packaging. On the way to circular food packaging.