June 29th, 2022

Sustainable Plastics Industry Transformation SPIRIT –programme is a collaborative research and development programme driving change in the plastic industry. SPIRIT was launched by Borealis, after Borealis received EUR 20 million funding from Business Finland for the programme. Project leader Borealis selects both the development efforts inside SPIRIT and also the innovative partners to work with. Amerplast is one of the partners to foster the change in the plastic industry.

The SPIRIT programme is divided to different themes; renewable feedstocks, circular plastics, CO2 reduction and enablers for green transition. SPIRIT’s themes are strategically important to Amerplast as the transition towards a circular economy is inevitable. We aim to increase the amount of both renewable feedstocks and circular plastics in our processes.

Innovations and product development in renewable feedstock are essential. But just as important is the development and innovations in the circular economy and especially in recycling of plastics. Mechanical recycling needs to evolve also in the future and focus on the easily recyclable materials like PE. The mechanical recycling process as a whole needs to develop further. Developing all stages of the mechanical recycling process –  collection, washing and sorting – improves the recycling process efficiency as a whole.

In addition to mechanical recycling process development, we also need development efforts in chemical recycling. The environmental impact of the food packaging itself is minimal compared to the packed food products. Food waste needs to be reduced and packaging solutions play key role in achieving this. New fully recyclable methods in food packaging need to be developed, as well as applications for renewable feedstocks. We see chemical recycling as a key solution to scaling renewable feedstock also in food packaging.

Chemical recycling will bring new possibilities to support the circular economy. For example; recycling a large amount of flexible PP mechanically is difficult. Plus, there are no significant applications for the mechanically recycled material. Neither are those in sight. In the future, every single material and solution needs to have a circular economy solution. In a circular economy, plastics need to end up in a closed loop. In the future, with the help of chemical recycling, Amerplast aims to bring a recyclable alternative to all our products to keep plastics circulating.

Read more about the SPIRIT programme. You can also join the SPIRIT ecosystem if you have an innovative project idea related to SPIRIT’s themes.

Article photo: Borealis Polymers Oy

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