By 2025 Ireland must recycle 50% of all plastic packaging that is placed on the market, this target increases to 55% by 2030. This means without any increase in the amount of plastic placed on the market, we must recycle 156,000 tons of plastic in 2025, this requires a big effort from everyone involved in the industry. LPP will contribute significantly to achieving these targets. As a direct result of the LPP facility in excess of 10,000 tonnes of additional film will be recycled in Ireland in 2022, this represents a 53% increase on 2021. This figure will again increase in 2023 and 2024.
LPP has also been working with Tomra R&D (Optical Sorting Provider) to seek improvements in the area of bottle recycling. Typically bales of HDPE Natural bottles will contain between 75 – 80% milk bottles, with the remainder often being bottles used for cleaning products. These bottles then need to be hand picked out at wash lines to ensure a food grade product can be produced. By using deep learning object recognition technology, LPP can create guaranteed food contact bottles, meaning the bales of HDPE bottles separated by LPP can go straight back into new milk bottles and the PET bottles can go straight back into new drinks bottles rather than lower grade products. This is creating a truly circular economy for high grade bottle to bottle recycling. Analysis carried out by UK HDPE bottle to bottle producers on these trials have yielded 98.1% HDPE Milk Bottle, 0.6% HDPE Non Milk Bottle, 0.2% HDPE Coloured, 1.1% Contamination. With trials of the PET showing 97.3% Clear PET Bottle, 1.7% Clear PET Tray, 1% Contamination.
In February 2022 LPP also commissioned Ireland’s only Used Beverage Can (UBC) sorting plant. This plant was
custom-built in Ireland and contains a shredder, multiple magnets, eddy current separators and an air sorting system. The plant is designed to take in bales of mixed cans and remove any contamination or residue, including the widget that is present in cans of stout. In 2022 the plant will process over 2,000 tons of cans produced from Irish MRF’s and produce a product that is suitable to be fed straight into a smelter and used to produce new cans.