Unilever has announced a partnership with the start-up company Ioniqa and the global producer of PET resins Indorama Ventures to pioneer a new technology which converts PET waste back into vergin grade material for use in food packaging.
Ioniqa has developed a technology that is able to convert any PET waste -including coloured packs- back into transparent virgin grade material. The technology hat successfully passed its pilot stage and its now moving towards testing at an industrial scale. Through its R&D Food team Unilever has partnered with Indorama Ventures and Ioniqa, a spin-off from Eindhoven University of Technology, NL, to tackel this challenge.
Inoiqa’s technology takes non recycled PET waste-like coloured bottles- and breaks it down to base molecule level, while seperating the colour and other contaminants. The molecules are converted back into PET which is equal to virgin grade quality at Indorama’s facility. If proven successul at industrial scale, in future it will be possible to convert all PET back into high quality, foodgrade packaging. The three partnering companies believe that this fully circular solution could lead to an industry transformation since the new technology can be repeated indefinitely.
In 2017 Unilever committed to all of its plastic packaging being reusable, recycable or compostable by 2025.