Technological watch

Sustainable multilayer film recycling project / Regrind with ?near virgin? properties

Sustainable multilayer film recycling project / Regrind with ?near virgin? propertiesDutch chemicals and life sciences group DSM (Sittard; has launched a joint plastic packaging film recycling project with German recycling specialist APK (Merseburg; designed to increase the sustainable benefits of multilayer food packaging films. The project, which utilises a new technology developed by APK, is aimed at tackling the difficult job of recycling this type of packaging, which often presents unsurmountable hurdles for waste collection systems, while at the same time reducing food waste. APK is currently building a plant for recycling multilayer PE/PA 6 packaging, using its ?Newcycling? process ? see of 28.06.2018. Production is due to start in this year?s fourth quarter.
Many multilayer barrier films for food packaging consist of a combination of PE and PA 6, with the former acting as a barrier for moisture and the latter as a barrier for oxygen, thus significantly extending the shelf life of the packaged food. Such packaging cannot be produced with a mono-material PE film, however, as the layer thicknesses needed to achieve sufficient barrier properties would be too high. The addition of PA 6, DSM says, reduces the total layer thickness significantly, while improving the mechanical integrity of the film and reducing the risk of rupture during transportation. Along with reducing waste, this also improves the product?s carbon footprint in a life cycle analysis (LCA).
APK?s process is claimed to enable the recovery of high-quality regrind with properties close to virgin plastics from complex mixtures and multilayer composite barrier packaging, which it says is not achievable with conventional recycling systems. Along with being sustainable, the Newcycling process is also claimed to be highly cost-efficient. Products made from recycled multilayer PE/PA 6 packaging can be used again in demanding flexible packaging applications, thus contributing to the EU?s target of a circular economy, notes Florian Riedl, head of business development at APK.31.07.2018 [240291-0]

Publication date: 31/07/2018


This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2020-07-14