Technological watch

High-quality reprocessing of recyclable packaging

As a special highlight, Reifenhäuser will present the digital traceability standard for plastic packaging: "R-Cycle". This automatically collects recycling-relevant information in so-called digital product passports and supplies it for the waste sorting process to permit sorting by type and high-quality recycling. R-Cycle provides a solution to the problem of today's waste sorting processes which are too inaccurate to identify recyclable packaging precisely. With R-Cycle, production machines along the entire value chain already record key data, such as the type of plastic, printing ink, adhesive, additives, and the use of the packaging (food/non-food). This data is then retrievable on the end product in the form of a marking (e.g. digital watermarks). Waste sorting plants can then identify recyclable packaging and form type-sorted fractions. This is the basis for recovering high-quality recyclate.

R-Cycle is under development to market maturity by leading technology companies and organizations along the entire plastic-packaging life cycle. Reifenhäuser is one of the founding members of this cross-industry initiative. The aim is to establish an open and globally applicable traceability standard in order to effectively utilize the potential of sustainable packaging products to create a functioning circular economy.

PET film from up to 100% post-consumer recyclateReifenhäuser EVO Ultra Stretch. Picture: ReifenhäuserIn Moscow, the Reifenhäuser Cast Sheet Coating business unit, which specializes in flat film, will exhibit a highly innovative solution for sustainable plastic packaging: PET film produced from up to 100% PET bottle scrap (PCR) for direct contact with foodstuffs. Unlike widely used food packaging, customers on Reifenhäuser MIREX PET sheet lines process post-consumer recyclate (PCR), not only as an intermediate layer between two outer layers of virgin material. If required, the film can be made from PCR PET only. The end product meets the highest hygiene standards and can be used safely - even in direct contact with food. The process bears the critical FDA LNO (Letter of No Objection) and can therefore execute high-quality plastic recycling for food packaging. This allows customers to participate in the growing market for sustainable packaging.

Another highlight of the MIREX PET sheet lines is PCR flake processing without pre-drying. This is achieved on the tried-and-tested co-rotating twin-screw extruder "REItruder". Processors therefore benefit from lower energy costs, as it eliminates the crystallization and drying steps in the process. In addition, the line features a special backflush filtration system for extremely high melt quality and process consistency. The result is perfect optical and mechanical film properties.

Ultra Stretch Blown Film: Innovative stretch process produces All-PE film for flexible packagingReifenhäuser MIREX PET sheet lines produce sustainable PET film from up to 100% PET bottle scrap. Picture: ReifenhäuserIn the blown film sector, the Reifenhäuser Blown Film business unit shows how sustainable flexible packaging must be designed in the future. Using the EVO Ultra Stretch unit - unique on the market - customers produce monomaterial composites (All-PE film) for flexible packaging and replace the otherwise usual PET layer with stretched PE. With up to 10 times the stretch rate, the Ultra Stretch unit gives PE film completely new mechanical properties. This is a simple replacement for PET and there is no need to adapt other processing steps. The unique and patented position of the stretching unit directly in the haul-off of the blown film line makes the process particularly stable and efficient.

Visitors to the Reifenhäuser booth in Moscow will have the chance to experience the impressive Ultra Stretch technology as well as the latest blown and flat film lines on a large screen as part of a virtual 360° tour through the Reifenhäuser Film Technology Center.

Publication date: 27/01/2022

Smart Extrusion

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

The website reflects only the author's view. The Commission is not responsible for any use thay may be made of the information it contains.
Last update: 2022-01-31