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P&G to tackle hard-to-recycle plastic waste with new technology

Sophie Smith
03 April 2024

Procter & Gamble (P&G) is developing a new recycling technology, which will target hard-to-recycle plastic waste.

To create the new technology, the group has partnered with American materials science company Dow to convert hard-to-recycle plastic packaging into recycled polyethylene.

This material will be near-virgin quality with a reduced greenhouse gas emissions footprint compared to fossil-based polyethylene.

Each company will contribute its own patented technologies and knowledge to develop the dissolution process to recycle a broad range of plastic materials.

As part of this, it will target post-household plastic waste, including harder-to-recycle packs such as rigids, flexible and multi-layer ones.

P&G expects to use this PCR polymer in its packaging to help limit plastic waste and make the most of available resources.

Lee Ellen Drechsler, Senior Vice President of Corporate Research and Development at Procter & Gamble, said: "Our partnership with Dow helps P&G advance our objective to scale industry solutions as we help create a circular future where materials are recycled and remade instead of becoming waste."

P&G serves consumers around the world with its portfolios of brands, including Always, Gillette, Head & Shoulders, Olay, Oral-B, Pampers, Pantene and SK-II, amongst others.

The move marks the latest collaboration for P&G with the aim of addressing hard-to-recycle plastic waste.

In 2021, the group joined with materials firm Eastman to use its molecular recycled plastic in its packaging, supporting both companies’ goals to reduce the use of virgin plastic made from fossil resources.

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