Recycling of Multilayer Packaging Foils by Using Diferent Organic Solvent

Document Type: Research Note


Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania


Multilayer Packaging wastes are one of the major problem in the world. About 6 billion tons of packages are generated per year in the world (in EU is about 82 million tons per year). Multilayer packaging foils are approximately 17% of all produced packaging films. Most produced multilayer film is based on different polymers, such as: polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polypropylene (PP), and polyethylene (PE) as main components, and an aluminum layer. However, because of their poor recyclability, most multi layers are usually incinerated or landfill, this is counteracting the efforts towards a circular economy.  There are different recycling methods for this type of waste, but the main problem is that there is less company which recycling multilayer packaging foils. Also, it is very important that, mostly they recovering only one or two components and others are burned or landfilled. The aim of this research was to find the most suitable solvent for recycling multilayer packaging foils and recover two common components: polymer and Al foil. For the first experiment, there was chosen multilayer packaging foil’s different samples, such as: packaging for chocolate, chips, medicines and coffee. There was used several chemicals: acetic acid, acetone, dimethyl formamide, ethanol, ethyl acetate and toluene. These solvents are on the list of green chemicals and they were selected, due to their less impact on environment and human health. The recycling process and result was different for each samples and solvents, because of their individual characteristics.


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