EU food approved PET UV tagging technology project reports progress

The EU funded Polymark is reporting positive results half way through its three-year mission to develop chemical markers for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging at end-of-life.

If the technology can be implemented cost-effectively it would allow materials recovery facilities to sort food contact-approved PET from the 25 million tonnes of general purpose plastics generated annually in the EU, improving its recyclability.

The Polymark partners report that: ‘A predominantly food contact approved, coating-based approach for the addition of a fluorescent marker to PET bottles has been developed.’

The coating is detectable under illumination with a near-UV light source. A full presentation of the technology will be given in Brussels on 24 November during the PetCore Europe Conference.

Petcore Europe, executive director and Polymark contributor Patrick Peuch says: ‘Our research partners have successfully developed a complete technology package. By publically releasing these results, in agreement with our Polymark Consortium and the approval of the European Commission, we aim to raise early awareness and to give unconstrained access to the widest number of interested parties for their faster consideration and longer-term planning.’

The Polymark platform uses water-based spray application to minimise the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can be extended to other plastics like polypropylene. It will be removed by MRFs using alkaline washing.

The project partners will now conduct real-world trials of its fluorescent UV coatings; as well as examining alternative polymer matrices, and varying the thickness of the coatings.

If the technology can be implemented cost-effectively it would allow materials recovery facilities to sort food contact-approved PET from the 25 million tonnes of general purpose plastics generated annually in the EU, improving its recyclability.

The Polymark partners report that: ‘A predominantly food contact approved, coating-based approach for the addition of a fluorescent marker to PET bottles has been developed.’

The coating is detectable under illumination with a near-UV light source. A full presentation of the technology will be given in Brussels on 24 November during the PetCore Europe Conference.

Petcore Europe, executive director and Polymark contributor Patrick Peuch says: ‘Our research partners have successfully developed a complete technology package. By publically releasing these results, in agreement with our Polymark Consortium and the approval of the European Commission, we aim to raise early awareness and to give unconstrained access to the widest number of interested parties for their faster consideration and longer-term planning.’

The Polymark platform uses water-based spray application to minimise the release of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and can be extended to other plastics like polypropylene. It will be removed by MRFs using alkaline washing.

The project partners will now conduct real-world trials of its fluorescent UV coatings; as well as examining alternative polymer matrices, and varying the thickness of the coatings.

This article comes from Food Contact World, which provides exclusive news and analysis on developments in digital print trends, markets, and technologies.