The Technical Institute of Plastic (AIMPLAS) in Spain is researching the development of a biodegradable package that can be used for dairy products.
Along with seven companies and technological centres, AIMPLAS has received €1 million European Union funding to develop multilayer and monolayer plastic bottles and bags to package dairy products that do not need to be recycled, but can be treated with organic wastes.
The project, called BIOBOTTLE, is likely to be as controversial as the development of biodegradable plastic bags that recyclers warn contaminates the recyclate stream and causes confusion for the public on how to separate material for recycling or organics treatment.
But AIMPLAS counter this by saying that while HDPE bottles are completely recyclable, only between 10 and 15 per cent are recycled in Europe. While those that are recycled require high temperature washing following just one use as a product.
AIMPLAS is coordinating the work with companies and organisations from Germany, Belgium and Italy.