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EQUIPMENT

Essel Propack’s Project Liberty leap towards environmental sustainability
Wednesday, 21 March, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
Essel Propack Ltd, an Indian multi-national company (MNC) in the business of manufacturing laminated plastic tubes, launched Project Liberty, a major step forward in its commitment to improve sustainability.

Project Liberty is a first-of-its-kind and path-breaking attempt to recycle multilayer laminates which consist of aluminium in the structure, by separating aluminium and polymers into two distinct and reusable streams without the use of chemicals or heat.

In this effort, Essel Propack has collaborated with multiple major technical partners across the globe and co-developed a solid-state environmental-friendly process to liberate aluminium from the laminate or tubes.

The company uses two basic structures to make laminated tubes, which are described below:
    • Plastic barrier laminate (PBL) tubes: They are made of all plastic layers and are easily recyclable
    • Aluminium barrier laminate (ABL) tubes: They are made with combination of polymers and has aluminium foil as the barrier layer

ABL poses challenges in recycling and the company has been working relentlessly over four years on developing a solution to separate the polymer and aluminium.

With Project Liberty, the polymer fraction can be recovered from ABL tubes and the same can be recycled to various packaging applications. The recovered aluminium metal also shall be reused, making every single tube recyclable.

Speaking on the occasion of the launch, Ashok Goel, chief executive officer, Essel Propack Ltd, said, “The main objective of launching this project is to establish a traceable and sustainable recycling process.”

“Project Liberty will not only fulfill our vision that every single tube made by Essel is recyclable, but will also help all partners across the value chain in achieving their sustainability goals/commitments to their stakeholders,” he added.

The project, which has been kicked off, will be implemented in two phases.
It will commence in India, where
    • In the first phase, Essel Propack will recycle its own tubes and laminate scrap, for which it will equip its units accordingly by the third quarter of financial year (FY) 2019
    • In the second phase, the company will offer the recycling facilities to its customers and partner with brand owners to regulate the post-consumer tubes and offer for recycling

In subsequent phases, the company shall roll out such facilities globally in a phased manner.

As a responsible company, Essel Propack has always strived hard towards achieving better sustainability.

Some of the other notable initiatives are:
    • Etain: Tubes made with up to 25 per cent post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin content, promoting the use of PCR resins, reducing the demand for virgin raw materials
    • Green Maple Leaf PE-based recyclable barrier tubes with HDPE caps that can be 100 per cent recycled in to C2 HDPE recycle stream. This laminate is one of its kinds globally and has recently been awarded under the sustainability category by the American Tube Council
    • Super Titanium tubes designed with better stiffness to enable reduction in web thickness without compromising on other functional requirement enabling source reduction
 
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