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SIG injects US$10M in Brazilian recycling technology expansion


SIG injects US$10M in Brazilian recycling technology expansion

SIG announces a US$10 million investment in recycling technology that will enable polymers and aluminum from used aseptic carton packs to be recovered and sold separately for the “first” time on an industrial scale in Brazil. - PackagingInsights

SIG is using technology that makes it possible to separate the PE from the aluminum in PolyAl to create a broader market and demand for these recycled materials. 

We are bringing Brazil a new technology that will enable the separation of aluminum and PE layers from carton packs, thereby expanding the market for these materials and generating more value from the separated waste. 

Ricardo Rodriguez, president and general manager for SIG Americas

SIG is expanding in Brazil partly to aid the country’s collection and sorting with more comprehensive policies and on the individual level to improve the recycling rates in the country. 

This project is the latest in a series of innovative collaborations led by SIG to boost collection and recycling rates for used aseptic cartons and sustainably grow the recycling chain.

Ricardo Rodriguez, president and general manager for SIG Americas

SIG creates aseptic recycling processes that maximize the number of recycled materials.

The renewable paper board, which makes up approximately 75% of aseptic carton packs, can be separated for recycling in a paper mill through Brazil’s existing recycling infrastructure.

The PE and aluminum mix (polyaluminum) left over from this process can be recycled into a robust material for roofing, pallets and furniture. 

SIG sees investing in technology to create a broader market for recycled materials as a significant step in increasing recycling rates for used aseptic cartons. By expanding its range of applications for recycled materials from used aseptic cartons, SIG expects to increase its company value by more than 50%. 

The new recycling plant for Brazil is currently under construction in the state of Paraná. It is expected to begin operating in 2024 with an initial production capacity of 200 metric tons per month. 

The new recycling technology has been developed over five years with ECS Consulting. It has already undergone a pilot project touted to prove the effectiveness of the chemical recycling process. 

Charity for sustainability

The focus on recycling in Brazil is part of SIG’s global Way Beyond Good commitment to enhancing its packs’ positive environmental and social impact throughout their lifecycle.SIG to help Brazil with its Way Beyond Good program to teach better recycling habits to citizens. 

SIG has implemented programs to support two other essential steps in the recycling process in lesser-developed countries: collecting used packaging from consumers and separating that packaging into the proper recycling streams. 

We are also determined to foster an ethical recycling chain that promotes collection and recycling of our packs after use in a way that supports communities, workers and the environment. The new recycling plant in Paraná takes us a step further on this journey by maximizing the retained economic and environmental value of the materials recovered from aseptic cartons.

Isabela De Marchi, sustainability manager for SIG South America

SIG’s so+ma vantagens program has partnered with NGO so+ma since 2018. The program enables people in underprivileged communities to collect loyalty points for bringing in waste for recycling. The points can be exchanged for rewards, such as essential food products and skills training. 

SIG is now expanding the program’s model to promote recycling and bring additional societal benefits to further municipalities in Brazil and beyond. The company hopes this will encourage public policies for selective waste collection in Brazil. 

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