Berry Global’s unique CleanStream® recycling technology, the first closed-loop system to mechanically process domestically recovered household waste polypropylene (PP) back into food-grade packaging, has been granted a Letter of No Objection (LNO) from the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA).
The LNO confirms that the post-consumer recycled (PCR) PP produced by the CleanStream® process can be used in levels up to 100% recycled content for food contact applications.
CleanStream® is Berry’s proprietary, world-leading process and the first to be able to identify and separate food use items from mixed domestic collections. One of its major benefits is that it can operate within existing waste management infrastructures. Automated sorting and decontamination processes that integrate online sensor technologies and machine learning algorithms remove the need for the use of marker or other digital technologies.
“CleanStream® is the first and best of its kind. The granting of FDA LNO status is a major achievement, and underlines Berry’s global leadership in recycling and the development of sustainable packaging solutions,” commented Mark Roberts, Circular Value Chain Director, Berry Global Consumer Packaging International.
Berry says that the CleanStream® PCR-PP has been extensively tested across a range of products and processes with extremely good results.
“The target markets for this material are all contact sensitive applications, in particular cosmetics and personal care as well as food contact,” said Mark Roberts. “Following the successful granting of the US FDA LNO, we will now be pursuing EU approvals for the material for food packaging applications.”
CleanStream® has received funding from the UK Research and Innovation’s Smart Sustainable Plastics Packaging Challenge, which will support the material’s application for EU approvals.
“This is another important step in the move towards a circular and net-zero economy and ideally demonstrates our promise of delivering innovations for the world and solutions for our customers, helping them to meet and exceed their own sustainability goals,” said Mark Roberts.
As well as Berry’s major contribution to further developing the circularity of plastics, CleanStream® delivers a number of additional environmental benefits. According to an in-depth life cycle analysis (LCA) by industry leading LCA specialists Quantis, the process generates 35% lower CO2 emissions than virgin PP production, and packaging made with the material will have a 20% lower impact. In addition, the replacement of virgin PP will reduce the CO2 impact of plastics packaging by 13,104 tonnes of CO2 per annum.
The PCR-PP will be produced at Berry’s £17 million purpose-built facility in Leamington Spa, which is due to go on stream later this year. The recyclate will be exclusively available for use in Berry manufactured packaging solutions, such as the recently launched B Circular Range Beauty Collection.
CleanStream® is an integral part of Berry’s Impact 2025 sustainability strategy. As part of this, the company has recently set sustainable packaging goals to achieve 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable fast-moving consumer packaging by 2025, and 30% circular plastic use across its fast-moving consumer goods packaging by 2030.