Klöckner Pentaplast (kp), the Luxembourg-based packaging manufacturer, celebrated the second year of its award-winning kp Tray2Tray initiative, which works towards creating a closed loop for food packaging. Several global business regions now use kp Tray2Tray flake in their trays and rigid films. They called upon the industry to help drive the initiative further, creating separate recycling and sorting systems specifically for pots, tubs and trays to turn them back into more of the same.
After the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has seen unprecedented price increases in raw materials, energy, transportation and labour costs. It is vital for food packaging manufacturers to secure materials to help keep food supply chains affordable. kp has been manufacturing fresh food packaging made with post-consumer recycled PET (rPET) for almost two decades, making them one of the largest consumers of this valuable raw material. National regulations, such as plastic taxes coming into effect in some countries, mean an ever-increasing demand for recycled PET. As all packaging producers in food and drink demand recycled material, it is now essential to separate food packaging from bottle flakes to meet demands.
With sites around the globe, kp is working to implement kp Tray2Tray in its operations at every location. Its pilot site in Pravia, Spain, uses up to 30% kp Tray2Tray flake in a range of its thermoformed products for protein – with qualified certification from RecyClass. Another five sites in the UK, Portugal, Spain, and Germany produce rigid films for form, fill, and seal applications using kp Tray2Tray. As a part of their extrusion processes, its sister site INFIA also incorporates it into their processes and produces fruit punnets.
Adam Barnett, president of Food Packaging, said, “For several years, we’ve been driving multiple work streams globally, collaborating with the entire value chain, including recyclers, expert partners, governments and other stakeholders, to establish new ways to collect and process separate streams of rPET tray flake. Our ultimate aim is to help build new infrastructure and incentives to collect, sort and recycle, ensuring wherever we operate, we will enable the full tray to tray circularity. Now we call upon our customers and retailers and extend this to the entire industry, pledging to help us create further demand for a tray-to-tray material included in their products.”
In 2021, kp launched ‘Investing in Better’, a broad and ambitious sustainability strategy with ten time-bound and measurable long-term targets. The strategy is built around three main objectives – close the loop, work smarter and act responsibly. Under the close loop objective, one of the targets is that by the end of 2025, at least 30% of the post-consumer recycled material in their packaging will be from kp Tray2Tray material. kp can report that in its second year since the initiative’s launch, 10% of its post-consumer recycled content comes from trays.
kp Tray2Tray gained two new prestigious awards in 2021 – Sustainable Supplier of the Year at the Footprint Awards and Best Food Packaging in the Liderpack Awards, creating awareness of the initiative.