Circular Economy & Recycling

Sustainable polypropylene fibers: Upcycling of post-consumer food packaging to high quality yarns

The presentation will give an insight into the innovative process concept for the utilization of a previously unused waste flow from post-consumer food packaging for the production of sustainable Polypropylene (PP) yarns

Saal A
Donnerstag, 14.09.2023, 15:10 - 15:35 Uhr
Stephanie Lukoschek, TU Dresden, Dresden (GER)

With an annual waste volume of 1.5 billion tons of food packaging plastic in the EU, large quantities of material are available for a new lifetime. By law, these formerly high quality materials can’t be used as new food packaging, which results in a material stream that is used for simple products such as buckets, lawn stones or park benches. To address this down cycling and utilize the original high quality material for high value applications, Der Grüne Punkt - Duales System Deutschland GmbH (DGP) and the Institute of Textile Machinery and High Performance Textile Technology (ITM) have joined forces to address a pioneering development of a process concept for sustainable polypropylene (PP) fibers from recycled post consumer plastics.The first major challenge here is the processing of plastics from the extremely inhomogeneous source of the German system for collecting packaging waste, the so-called “Gelber Sack”. This patented process produces color-sorted rPP granulates with up to 99% purity, which in a next step were transferred to ITM for the development of the melt spinning process for rPP multifilament yarn.