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Unilever has formed a partnership with start-up company Ioniqa and Indorama Ventures, the largest global producer of PET resin, to pioneer a new technology that converts PET waste back into virgin grade material for use in food packaging.
Ioniqa has developed a proprietary technology that is able to convert any PET waste – including coloured packs – back into transparent virgin grade material. The technology has successfully passed its pilot stage and is now moving towards testing at an industrial scale. Ioniqa’s new technology takes non-recycled PET waste and breaks it down to base molecule level, while separating the color and other contaminants. The molecules are converted back into PET which is equal to virgin grade quality at Indorama’s facility.
David Blanchard, Unilever’s chief R&D officer, said: ‘We want all of our packaging to be fit for a world that is circular by design, stepping away from the take-make-dispose model that we currently live in."
Tonnis Hooghoudt, founder and CEO of Ioniqa, said: ‘To scale up our unique solution for PET plastics, we are delighted to work together with partners like Unilever and Indorama Ventures."