Essel Propack begins initiative to make tubes recyclable

Essel Propack has announced Project Liberty, a step forward in its commitment of improve sustainability. Project Liberty is a first-of-its-kind attempt to recycle multilayer laminates which consists aluminium in the structure, by separating aluminium and polymer into two distinct and reusable streams without the use of chemicals or heat.

23 Mar 2018 | By Rahul Kumar & Sriraam Selvam

In a step forward to its commitment to improve sustainability, packaging giant Essel Propack will strive to fulfill its vision of 'Every single tube made by Essel is recyclable'.

For this purpose, Essel has collaborated with major technical partners across the globe and has co-developed a solid-state environmental-friendly process to liberate aluminium from the laminate/tubes.

So, how does it work?

Essel uses two basic structures to make laminated tubes. Plastic barrier laminate (PBL) tubes are made of plastic layers and are easily recyclable. On the other hand, aluminium barrier laminate (ABL) tubes are made with combination of polymers and contain aluminium foil as the barrier layer.

ABL poses challenges in recycling and the company has been working for the last four years on developing a solution to separate the polymer and aluminium.

With Project Liberty, the polymer fraction can be recovered from ABL tubes and the same can be recycled to various packaging applications. Interestingly enough, the recovered aluminium metal shall be reused, making every single tube recyclable.

Speaking during the launch of the project, Ashok Goel, CMD, Essel Propack, said, “The main objective is to establish a traceable and sustainable recycling process. Project Liberty will not only fulfil our vision of making ‘every single tube made by Essel recyclable’, it will also help all partners across the value chain in achieving their sustainability goals.”

The project will be implemented in two phases in India.

In the first phase, the company will recycle its own tubes and laminate scrap, for which it will equip its units accordingly by Q3 FY 19.

In the second phase, Essel will offer the re-cycling facilities to its customers. Also, it will partner with brand owners to regulate the post-consumer tubes and offer for recycling.

In subsequent phases, such facilities will be rolled out globally.

Earlier too, Essel Propack has implemented several environment-friendly initiatives.

For example, Etain tubes are made with up to 25% post-consumer recycled resin content, promoting the use of PCR resins, reducing the demand for virgin raw materials.

Green Maple Leaf PE-based recyclable barrier tubes with HDPE caps can be 100% recycled in to C2 HDPE recycle stream. This laminate is one of its kind globally. Recently it has been awarded under the ‘sustainability’ category by the American Tube Council.

Super Titanium tubes are designed with better stiffness to enable reduction in web thickness without compromising on other functional requirement enabling source reduction.