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Tough-to-Recycle Metallized Polyethylene Liners Find Second Life in Decking

The insulated packaging for shipping that keeps products cool just became more sustainably cool, too, thanks to a recycling partnership between PAC Worldwide and Trex Company. 

“When our engineering team came up with a recyclable metal solution for cold chain, we immediately started thinking about how to bring it to market and educate the consumer,” said Jenifer Nelson, PAC Associate Director of Cold Chain Products. “The NexTrex program is an ideal vehicle because of the scale.”

Here are nine things to know about the liner-to-decking products recycling program, including what PlasticsToday learned in an exclusive interview with Nelson.

1. It’s an industry first.

PAC rolled out the packaging industry’s first fully approved, 100% recyclable thermal bubble liner with the debut of the CoolPAC line of products.

“To our knowledge, we are the first and only manufacturer of metallized liner approved for recycling in the nationwide NexTrex program,” Nelson tells PlasticsToday.

After the materials are recovered, Trex will convert the metallized bubble material into environmentally friendly outdoor decking and railing through the NextTrex recycling program.

Image from PAC Worldwide

2. The previous metallized liner was a multifilm composite that was nonrecyclable.

“PAC engineers developed a patent-pending solution made entirely from the same substrate,” says Nelson. “Like its predecessor, the new CoolPAC liner maintains temperatures for optimal product quality and safety.”

3. A range of CoolPAC products have been qualified.

These include box liners, pouches, roll stock, and pallet covers. The metallized bubble material protects packaged products such as meals, pharmaceuticals, flowers, cosmetics, and chocolates from harmful temperature swings.

4. Collection is nationwide and already underway at more than 32,000 locations across the United States.

You can find a list of participating stores and retailers including major national grocery chains as well as regional and specialty retailers

Publication date: 05/05/2020

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