Technological watch

Additive enables recycling of co-mingled polyolefin scrap plastic

As any cook knows as do all those who appreciate tasty food, a couple of ingredients working in combination make a dramatic difference in just how good something turns out.

Same holds true for masterbatches like ReVive Compatibilizer masterbatch from Ampacet (Tarrytown, NY).  It’s a blend of functional additives that can reduce the amount of material sent to landfills by allowing post-industrial and post-consumer barrier films to be reprocessed back into the polyolefin recycling stream.

“ReVive helps to minimize the environmental impact of barrier film packaging,” says Doreen Becker, Ampacet Sustainability Director. “It can help consumer packaged goods brands use more recycled materials in their packaging to achieve sustainability goals.”

Ampacet ReVive gives film producers the opportunity to meet Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) test protocols which enabling CPG brands to apply for Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s (SPC) How2Recycle designations for at-store drop-off for recyclable bags and other flexible packaging.

Film producers also can reduce costs by reducing their use of virgin resin.

“Revive is ideal for film manufacturers and reprocessors that seek a solution to recycling multilayered barrier films,” explains Jim Morrison, Strategic Business Manager, Flexible, Ampacet. “It’s a synergistic blend of functional additives that enables mixed ethylene vinyl alcohol, polyamide (nylon) and polyolefin scrap to be recycled back into a virgin polyolefin layer. ReVive efficiently homogenizes these incompatible materials thereby improving processing while preserving optical and mechanical properties.”

The list of applicable polymers and mixed material structures that can be recycled is broad.

“Although many of our customers are looking for a PA/EVOH/PE compatibilizer solution, others have expressed the need to homogenize other blends of materials, for example PET/polypropylene and polypropylene/polyethylene,” explains Morrison.

Solution for recyclable high-barrier pouches

Morrison notes that brand owners looking for innovations that enable high-barrier multilayered packages such as some stand-up pouches in recyclable formats should find a solution in ReVive. 

ReVive maintains good flow properties, good bubble stability and improved processing in letdown ratios of 3-5% of the total film structure for recycled materials containing nylon or other of the aforementioned resins.

Independent tests demonstrated that Ampacet ReVive improves optical properties: adding 5% Revive to a PE/nylon blend reduces haze from 55% to 18% and increases gloss from 18 to 43 Gloss Units, compared with a PE/PA recycle stream with and without ReVive. This improves flow and mechanical properties, resulting in improved gloss and lower haze.

Benefits for brands and converters

ReVive helps to minimize the environmental impact of barrier film packaging by helping CPG brands use more recycled materials in their packaging to achieve sustainability goals,” says Morrison. “It provides film producers the opportunity to meet recycling certification protocols that enables CPG brands to apply for recycling designations offered by well-known industry sponsors.”

“Film producers and reprocessors are seeking cost savings and the means to recycle increasing amounts of post-industrial and post-consumer recyclate, PIR and PCR respectively.  CPG brands are focused on developing packaging formats that are more environmentally friendly.  ReVive offers an opportunity for both of these needs to be met while supporting the transition to a more circular economy.  Rather than landfilling barrier films at cost, they can now be recycled at higher levels replacing virgin resins yielding a nice ROI and sustainability benefits.”

More than a dozen companies have either requested product samples for evaluation or are already well into their evaluation process, Morrison tells PlasticsToday. “We’re excited by this initial response and look forward to further investing in the ReVive product line as we continue to engage with customers and other interested parties.”

ReVive is part of a family of products provided as a pellet-ready mix to be added at the extruder into film formulations or via a doser on recycling systems. 

“A family of ReVive products are tailored to varying customer requests,” says explains Morrison. “ReVive products are empowering film processors to save costs and promote sustainability by enabling multilayer barrier films of assorted types to be recycled.”

ReVive is positioned within the supplier’s R³ Sustainable Solutions range of innovative masterbatches.

“We’re proud of our growing portfolio of R³ Sustainable Solution masterbatches that provide innovative solutions to some of the challenges we face as an industry to reduce waste, increase recycle content and generally allow reuse more of our natural resources in a transition to a more circular economy,” Morrison says.

Some products in the R³ family of masterbatches include a range of antifogs and UV absorbers designed to extend product shelf life, REC-O -Black carbon black sourced from  post-consumer and post-industrial products, REC-NIR Black that can be detected and sorted at municipal recycling facilities (MRFs) and BlueEdgeand GreenEdge additives that enhance the appearance and functionality of PCR. 

“We continue to invest in R&D at our Global Technology Centers to advance and extend our R³ product offerings coordinated with customer and market needs,” adds Morrison.

Publication date: 04/02/2020

Plastics Today

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: 2022-01-31