PCR HDPE suitable for food contact

Ecoplast Corp. (Los Angeles, CA) claims to be the first-and-only recycler of post-consumer high-density polyethylene to receive a letter of non-objection from the U.S.

Food & Drug Administration for recycled post-consumer HDPE in direct food contact. According to Ecoplast president Parham Yedidsion, Ecoplast uses a 12-step process to prepare baled PCR HDPE for reuse. Singulating, granulating and washing methods used are similar to those of other recyclers. But one of the steps involves a patented technology that Ecoplast acquired when it purchased the assets of Union Carbide Recycling last June. Yedidsion won't describe the technology because, he says, some patent issues are still pending. The end result of the Ecoplast process is PCR HDPE in pellet form. Once the material is in full commercial production, it will be sold, says Yedidsion, at a cost "comparable to virgin HDPE." The material is suitable for making blow-molded bottles, extruded sheet or injection-molded packages. Yedidsion says scale-up is Ecoplast's next priority. Long term, he adds, the firm intends to remain a manufacturer, but they're receptive to licensing the technology.

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