Together CNR and CONAI develop innovative research projects on the recycling of packaging waste

18 November 2016

The National Packaging Consortium invests €800,000 in research and signs a framework agreement with the National Research Council (CNR). New materials and new processes to significantly decrease the quantity of waste sent to landfill and energy use.   The Agreement signed today by CONAI (National Packaging Consortium) and the National Research Council will last three years and sets the goal of developing research programmes that make a real contribution towards improving recycling processes. In support of changes to make packaging more eco-sustainable, CONAI intends to further strengthen its commitment to scientific and technological research through collaborations with universities, research bodies and study centres on projects that develop prevention, recycling and recovery technologies for packaging waste. The Consortium will invest a total of about €800,000 in these areas over the next two years. “In line with the Consortium mission, this Agreement aims to spread an environmentally sustainable culture by optimising the use of packaging materials and reduce their environmental impact,” commented Roberto De Santis, CONAI President. “There is no better partner for this than the CNR, a hotbed of skills and resources in our research area of interest”. “With this agreement the CNR will collaborate with CONAI to develop original solutions for the packaging sector favouring the improvement of processing and recycling materials that are not exclusively used to generate new energy,” declared Luigi Nicolais, CNR President. “Through an integrated use of skills and technologies developed in different disciplines, CNR and CONAI will favour the production and circulation of new types of packaging materials that are more biocompatible and have a longer life cycle and low environmental impact. These goals will favour the innovation of the whole production cycle and will bring benefits to the sector economy.” The Agreement with the CNR will initiate two important projects aimed at improving the remaining components in the packaging waste selection process while increasing the quantities recycled. The first project concerns the recycling of mixed and “multimaterial” waste post-consumption and sets itself the objective of using waste as source for new and completely recycled composites. Materials that may be of interest are multi-layer cardboard derived from pulping, post-consumption flexible multi-layer plastic/aluminium and polyolefin mixes. The second project aims to improve mixed polyolefin fractions including other post-consumption plastics and assess the decline of their properties as a result of repeated use and recycling. The aim of the project is to define a mechanical recycling process for plastic mixes, making different polymers compatible such as to create new alternative materials for energy recovery. In addition to collaborating with the CNR, CONAI will develop other research projects with universities and institutions with the aim of improving recyclability and the quantities of plastic, glass and steel recycled. File for the project improving polyolefin including other post-consumption plastics File for the project improving post-consumption mixed and multimaterial waste File for the other three projects