ValueFlex Update from CEFLEX
In October last year CEFLEX and the Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) introduced ValueFlex, a sorting and processing model aimed at tackling hard-to-recycle flexible plastics in household waste streams.
CEFLEX and AEPW are inviting expressions of interest to build a first-generation ValueFlex facility in Europe. This will be a commercial-scale plant to recycle flexible plastic packaging with an anticipated annual processing capacity of 50,000 tonnes. Anticipated opening of the plant is 2025 Q1.
You can read more about the concept on the CEFLEX website, in this Q&A interview.
The intention is that Valueflex will increase plastic packaging recycling rates from household waste, items which are currently seen as non-recyclable. It will take PE and PP rich household flexible plastics in bales and state-of-the-art sensor-based sorting lines will separate target waste out into different streams – PE natural, PE coloured, PP film and Polyolefin mixed bales.
The technologies applied in the facility will deliver a higher level of decontamination than that currently available in the market, so the resulting polymers will be better quality. This output will be PE and PP film granules that can be used in high end packaging and non-packaging applications.
According to CEFLEX workstream consultant Dana Mosora, the goal of the project is to deliver a blueprint for a new generation of infrastructure and investment able to significantly boost a circular economy for polyolefin-based flexible packaging materials. The ultimate aim being to deviate more material from going into energy-from-waste (EfW) plants in Europe.
The project will also pave the way for recycling where the end product has higher quality than the market standard. The focus being on quality rather than quantity recycling: more investment for more value.
Flexible plastic packaging is one of the most challenging types of material to process and recycle. According to WRAP, we throw away around 290,000 tonnes of plastic bags and wrapping a year in the UK alone, this makes up around a quarter of consumer packaging.
To accelerate recycling solutions for this waste stream would be a huge step forward, creating an improved and viable circular economy for the benefit of the environment and the economy.