Millet Plastics relies on its technology in the face of the anti-waste law, Innovation and Research

At the headquarters of Millet Plastics Group, in Pratz, near Saint-Claude, in the Jura, the injection workshop is about to receive its first co-extrusion machine. This equipment at 750,000 euros, or 30% more than a traditional extruder, will allow a single pass to manufacture a material comprising several layers of material.

The technology is one of the responses to the Agec law and the obligation to integrate 25% recycled material by 2025. It makes it possible to increase the share of recycled material which will constitute the central layer of this “sandwich” material. , while maintaining the appearance required by the customer for the outer layers.

“We hope to achieve 80% recycled material, with 10% virgin material on each side, so as not to degrade the final product”, specifies Christine Millet, CEO of Millet Plastics Group and vice-president of Polyvia, the trade association for plastics and composites. “Co-extrusion will be aimed at markets that do not want to degrade the aesthetic and mechanical qualities of the packaging. The idea is to go for an inner layer of recycled material that is as large as possible. »

Twenty million cans a year

The order was placed at the very beginning of 2022 and the machine should be delivered “in the spring”. Because the schedule is tight. At the end of 2021, Millet lost the market for a box of powdered sugar in favor of a plastic-coated cardboard bag made elsewhere. The factory already offers 100% recycled material on certain markets and its R&D teams have been working for several years on the eco-design of products in order to reduce the material, by adding ribs to stiffen the walls, for example.

“We hope to achieve 80% recycled material, with 10% virgin material on each side, so as not to degrade the final product”.

Christine Millet, CEO of Millet Plastics Group and Vice President of Polyvia

Coextrusion is one more tool, and could be of interest to its chemical customers, for whom it produces 20 million 5-litre cans a year. Their products require a stability that is incompatible with 100% recycled.

“We will not be able to pass on the additional cost to all markets, but it is a response in terms of regulations and product safety”, adds Christine Millet, who still does not know whether co-extrusion will be validated in France for the food market. This accounts for 45% of its packaging activity with customers such as Poulain, Yoplait, Beghin-Say or Daddy.

The group has nine factories around the world, including six in France, employs 420 people, including 250 in France, and achieved a turnover of 88 million euros in 2021. In 2019, it had created a subsidiary in Canada whose business, up sharply, helps to mitigate the decline in profitability linked to the rise in material costs.

Leave a Comment