Mono-material for high recyclability
Rieke, part of the Trimas Packaging group, has advanced its commitment to providing customers innovative solutions in the area of sustainability with the commercialization of its patented MonoTM-2e pump, a dispenser pump that is ready to be recycled. This innovation, which is in production today, is the first fully-recyclable, mono-material pump on the market. After proving production and commercial robustness for nearly one year, Rieke’s Mono-2e is commercially available and ready for advanced design applications for its consumer packaged goods (CPG) customers, serving the beauty, personal care and other end markets with Love Beauty and Planet by Unilever. Rieke’s advancement and commercialization in the area of recycle-ready dispensers is a significant breakthrough in the packaging for the beauty and personal care industry.
The single-polymer pump was to designed to facilitate the recycling process for dispensers, which was desired by both CPG customers and consumers. As a result, Rieke’s global design and engineering teams conceived the Mono-2e. Until then, pumps were composed of a mix of materials such as metal springs, polypropylene, polyethylene and others. This range of combined materials requests special infrastructures for an adequate recycling. For example, the metal spring in a traditional pump is detrimental to the plastic recycling stream. Therefore, a consumer would have to discard the closure before recycling. As an industry innovator, Rieke developed its mono-material pump without compromising quality, formula compatibility, aesthetics or performance.
The first mono-material pump available on the market
Today, Rieke’s unique dispenser made from a single type of polymer was the first commercial-ready option available to customers, and is already well adopted in practice by a global CPG company as an integral part of the packaging for one of their major new brands. “Our goal was to deliver a pump, not only made with the same polymer, but also with the same polymer grade to simplify the stream flow of recycling in the coming circular economy,” explained Howard Manning, Vice President and General Manager, Rieke Closures. This was a unique simplification in plastic, moving up to a model of circular economy where the focus is the optimization of the following stream at the end of lifecycle of the product. The full homogeneity of the recycled polymer increases the performance and quality, while it extends possible high-quality applications of following products molded in Postconsumer Resin. “This is an innovative model to shift the waste value chain where the product is not only designed to perform during the consumer’s use, but also optimizes the regrinding offering to the next PCR user providing the best stability in terms of viscosity and process. As a result, we have generated a high-value flow stream in a circular economy” commented Fabio Salik, President of TriMas Packaging.
Award winning design
The Rieke Mono-2e was recognized as a 2020 Finalist of the Sustainability Packaging Coalition Innovator Awards for this revolutionary single-polymer design, as the patented pump features six parts, all made from one material. It is 100% recyclable and designed to massively reduce its carbon footprint. It’s designed to be more easily recycled than ever before. This allows closures and dispensing systems manufacturer, Rieke, to use PCR with the ability to integrate up to 100% of Postconsumer Resin, Polypropylene or Polyethylene into caps or closures. That gives each pump the best chance of a recycled second life. Many thousands of consumers have already bought personal care products of a large global brand Love Beauty and Planet by Unilever focused on such a concept.