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EXTR:ACT, the European platform to improve and increase the recycling of beverage cartons and similar fibre-based multi-material packaging in Europe, is pleased to provide an update on the successful and innovative steps taken by different companies to recycle the non-fibre components of beverage cartons throughout Europe. As of today, the below projects allow roughly 50,000 tonnes of non-fibre components of beverage cartons to be recycled annually.

EXTR:ACT expects ongoing activities in recycling to separate the valuable non-fibre components (so-called PolyAl rejects) from beverage cartons after having gone through the process of fibre extraction in the paper mill. The current European projects for PolyAl-recycling include:

  • Ecoplasteam’s recycling plant in Italy
  • ReconPolymers in the Netherlands
  • Plastigram in the Czech Republic
  • Palurec in Germany, which is operated by the beverage carton manufacturers.

“With these projects, roughly 30 % of the European volume of these PolyAl rejects will now start being recycled in new material cycles, where, for example, the recovered plastics and aluminum can be used in different applications as a substitute for virgin material,” said Michael Brandl, Managing Director of EXTR:ACT. “Further expansion of these processing options is expected for the near future, underscoring the investment and innovative solutions being explored to ensure that the beverage cartons placed on the EU market remain the most sustainable packaging solution as outlined in the industry’s 2030 Roadmap.”

The recycled plastic components can be used in products such as plastic pipes, boxes or panels, while the aluminum will be compounded and used in products such as motorblocks, metallic varnish, and other materials.

The Roadmap, launched by EXTR:ACT’s industry partner ACE (The Alliance for Beverage Cartons and theEnvironment), highlights the industry’s commitment to having 90 % of all beverage cartons collected for recycling, and to have at least 70 % of all beverage cartons recycled by 2030. The Roadmap also outlines the industry’s commitments and targets for delivering the most sustainable packaging for resilient food supply systems which is renewable, climate positive and circular. The continuous expansion of recycling capacities will further strengthen the positive contribution of beverage cartons to the environment.

Founded in 2018, EXTR:ACT is the European platform dedicated to increase the recycling of beverage cartons and similar fibre-based multi-material packaging. Focused on the technical process of such multi-material recycling from start to finish, EXTR:ACT works with the entire value chain to ensure that multi- material packaging is designed with the life cycle in mind and is able to be collected, sorted, recycled and reused in varying markets.

IPRONA, one of the world’s B2B market leaders for fruit processing, has introduced the first standardised and solvent-free tart cherry extract, CherryCraft®. The proprietary extract combines the proven properties of tart cherry with the expertise and infrastructure behind successful European black elderberry extract ElderCraft®.

Tart cherry has emerged as an important fruit in the sport recovery sector on the strength of studies linking it to effects on antioxidative capacity, inflammation and lipid peroxidation that influence how long it takes muscles to recalibrate after strenuous exercise. Other studies have linked the fruit to effects on sport performance, sleep and cardiovascular health. The growing body of evidence has alerted consumers to the role tart cherry can play in their exercise regimes.

Manufacturers that want to serve the growing market need tart cherry extracts standardized on polyphenols and anthocyanins, the fruit’s functional ingredients. Having gained deep expertise in polyphenols and anthocyanins from its work on ElderCraft®, IPRONA identified tart cherry as the ideal fruit for the expansion of its product line.

“Tart cherry is a highly promising ingredient in the sport recovery space,” said Stephan Breitenberger, CEO of IPRONA, “We are realising that promise by using our solvent-free production method and vertically integrated European supply chain to deliver an extract standardized to polyphenols and anthocyanins. We look forward to working with our partners to bring the benefits of tart cherry to more consumers through CherryCraft®.”

The product is made using the same gentle, solvent-free proprietary IPT – IPRONA Polyphenol Technology as ElderCraft® to make a standardised, premium-quality extract from European tart cherries without harming the fruit matrix. IPRONA sources the tart cherries used in CherryCraft® through its vertically integrated European supply chain, resulting in total traceability.

CherryCraft® is standardized to polyphenols and anthocyanins, giving manufacturers and consumers confidence in its properties, and is suitable for use in maltodextrin-free formulations, as IPRONA is also offering the extract with gum arabic as a carrier. The diversity of options equips manufacturers to use CherryCraft® in a range of formulations, helping them fully realise the potential of tart cherry.

IPRONA is one of the world’s B2B market leaders for fruit processing. With nearly 40 years of experience serving a dynamic, international clientele, IPRONA is the peerless supplier of fruit-specific ingredients such as berry, citrus and tropical fruit concentrates, infusions from herbs and seeds, standardised red berry extracts, and customer-specific compounds.

EXTR:ACT – Driving Value for multimaterial recycling, the pan-European platform created by BillerudKorsnäs, Elopak, SIG Combibloc, Stora Enso and Tetra Pak, all members of the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment (ACE), has announced the nomination of EXTR:ACT’s Managing Director, Michael Brandl.

Michael Brandl, a German national with a background in engineering, built his career in the dairy industry before joining FKN, the German beverage carton association in 2010. Michael intends to use his considerable knowledge of both the beverage carton industry and of German and European recycling infrastructures to meet the platform’s objectives.

“We strongly believe that Michael’s experience and expertise will drive EXTR:ACT increase the recycling of our packages, scale and boost value for recycling solutions, and secure our long-term sustainability” said Heike Schiffler, President of EXTR:ACT. “With this new initiative, we are confident we will be able to achieve a significant increase in collection and recycling rates by 2025 “.

EXTR:ACT, based in Frankfurt, will foster the recycling of beverage cartons, including the non-paper components such as polymers and aluminium. It reflects the industry’s commitment to the circular economy and complements ACE’s ongoing work. EXTR:ACT will also seek to work in partnership with stakeholders who have similar needs regarding the recycling of composite packaging.

About ACE:
ACE provides a European platform for beverage carton manufacturers and their paperboard suppliers to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low carbon packaging solutions. Engaging with stakeholders and partners seeking high environmental stewardship, it contributes expertise to EU policy, legislation and standard‐setting.
ACE members include beverage carton producers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak; they develop, manufacture and market systems for the packaging and distribution of food, and produce packaging material at 20 plants in Europe. Most of the paperboard used by ACE members in beverage cartons in Europe is produced by Stora Enso in Skoghall (Sweden) and Imatra (Finland), and BillerudKorsnäs in Gävle and Frövi (Sweden), who are also members of ACE.

Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE: ADM), one of the leading suppliers for ingredients, has now added new colors to its product range: firstly, micronized color powders made from coloring foodstuffs; secondly, paprika extract for particularly vibrant shades of orange.

The new micronized color powders from ADM are made up of particles that are much smaller than conventional color pigments. This gives the powders a larger surface – in relative terms – and increases their opacity. As a result, they give foodstuffs a highly intensive and striking coloring.

ADM offers its customers micronized color powders for all common color shades. The new solutions complete the previous range from yellow to red, now also allowing additional colorings in green and blue. The raw materials that the ADM developers use are coloring foodstuffs such as safflower, curcumin, red radish and spirulina. The products are available for instant beverages, chewing gum, powder mixtures, concentrates and confectionery. Despite the small particle size, the colors are by no means nanomaterials.

Paprika for bright orange – without any E numbers

The WILD Rainbow Range, ADM’s range of coloring foodstuffs and natural colors, has also been expanded and now includes paprika as a new coloring foodstuff that can be used for all food applications. It is suitable for all pH values and is heat-stable. In contrast to orange carrot, for example, paprika extract does not change its color and become more yellow when heated, but rather retains its original orange.

Paprika can be used to give a bright orange color to various products, including confectionery, snacks, ice cream, baked goods, breakfast cereals and chewing gum. It is actually an original color rather than the result of mixing two separate colors (red and yellow). Both the micronized color powder and paprika extract can be declared as ingredients with no E numbers, which means that they are suitable for clean label products.