ICA såpaflaska av återvunnen plast
Såpaflaska av 100 procent återvunnen plast.

Soap bottle entirely made from recycled consumer plastic

Today, use of recycled plastics in packaging is low, but could increase and thus reduce the environmental impact. Together with ICA, Swerec and Emballator, Swerea has developed a soap bottle made from 100 per cent recycled consumer plastics.

Plastic packaging accounts for approximately 40 per cent of Europe’s plastic use, but the recycling of this packaging is not widespread. Players in the recycling and packaging area, and the consumer company ICA got involved in a recycling project together with Swerea in order to demonstrate the possibilities. The result was a soap bottle made from 100 per cent recycled material.

Quality demands on recycled plastics

The difficulty in recycling packaging is that the quality of the recycled plastic differs very much from virgin raw material. The project’s chosen plastic was based on polyethylene (PE) from Swerec, which needed to be washed in warm water and melt filtered to remove impurities in the material in order to enable a bottle to be manufactured.

“If we accept a varied grey colour for the bottle, we can take the plastic and recycle it without adding new dyes. Today we have succeeded with this on a small scale and are now working to scale up the process. The process description produced by ICA and Swerea will also benefit the entire industry,” says Louise Nilsson, head of product innovation at ICA Sweden.

Possible to increase demand

The aim of the project is to show that it is possible to manufacture packaging from recycled plastics and thus increase demand for the recycled material, which could eventually lead to changes in the packaging industry.

The project has been funded by Plastkretsens AB’s research foundation.

Agenda 2030 sustainability goals