Quinn Packaging is continuing its drive to improve the sustainability of plastic food packaging with the development of its newest product, Orbital. 

The product is produced using 100% recycled PET material and is reportedly fully suitable for food packaging applications. Quinn received certification to manufacture food-grade PET packaging made from 100% recycled material from the European Food Safety Authority in July 2019, paving the way for their newest product line.

Traditionally, according to the company, PET food packaging was manufactured using a combination of virgin PET polymer and recycled PET material. The virgin PET polymer was used in the outer layers of the packaging for food safety purposes, ensuring the food did not come into contact with the recycled PET material.

Quinn Packaging says that it is producing recycled PET packaging which is safe and fully suitable for food contact, eliminating the need for the layer of virgin polymer for food protection. This is due to the PET extrusion systems at Quinn Packaging, namely its patented Vacurema recycling system from Erema. This system allows the use of non-food grade recycled post-consumer PET material to make food-grade PET sheet. Eliminating the requirement for virgin PET has allowed Quinn to manufacture a food-grade PET packaging product made from 100% recycled material: Orbital.

The Vacurema recycling system is reportedly fully integrated with Quinn Packaging’s extrusion lines, apparently enabling all functions, including decontamination, to be performed in one process and producing 100% recycled food-grade sheet with stable viscosity in a much more efficient process.

UK Sales Manager, Richard Wild said: “Our new 100% recycled product has been launched to meet demand from retailers and consumers to offer the most sustainable packaging solutions. Until now, all our packaging products contained a combination of virgin PET and recycled PET. With Orbital you can have achieve 100% recycled material content.

“We have a responsibility to provide solutions to the food processing and retail industries which allows them to move to more sustainable options. It is the increasing demand for such solutions which has driven us to develop three innovative new products in the last year, all of which have improved environmental credentials, including Orbital.”

The introduction of this product follows the recent launches of DETECTA and SIGNUM, two food packaging solutions which are both designed to tackle some of the issues with the recyclability of plastic packaging and assist the move towards a truly circular economy. DETECTA was a finalist in the Driving the Circular Economy category at Packaging Europe's Sustainability Awards 2019.