Chetan Jain’s book demystifies myths about shrink sleeves

Chetan Jain of Taurus Packaging in a conversation with Disha Chakraborty of WhatPackaging? said that the “scope of Indian packaging is increasing”.

21 Dec 2022 | By Disha Chakraborty

Chetan Jain of Taurus Packaging shares insights about how shrink sleeves can be sustainable

Chetan Jain, the CEO of Delhi-based Taurus Packaging launched his second book, 5 Myths about Sustainable Shrink Sleeves during the 9th Speciality Films & Flexible Packaging global summit which was hosted in Mumbai. The book provides insights about how shrink sleeves can be sustainable. Jain said, due to “the global plastic recycling movement there are huge opportunities for companies that are keen to offer a green solution.”

 

Jain’s book has a chapter dedicated to the global overview which is titled, The Reality of Recycling. As per Jain, the six step process of recycling plastic containers consists of collection, sorting into categories, de-labelling, washing, shredding and resizing as well as  compounding.

As the name suggests, the book busts five myths about sustainable shrink sleeves.

Myth #1: Shrink Sleeves interfere with recycling: Research shows that shrink-label films with density >1 are incompatible in the PET recycling stream. For example, if we use PVC shrink label films and recycle the PET containers they are attached to, it causes black speck contamination, making the container non-recyclable. Similarly, using any other Shrink label film also renders the containers incapable of recycling and causing complicated issues.

So, what is the solution? We asked Chetan Jain. He said, “before recycling PET bottles and containers, the shrink sleeves attached to them need to be removed so that the films do not interfere with the recycling process. Another option is to use PET based films. Once crystallised, they recycle along with the bottles to which they are attached. You can also opt for labels and films that leave the PET bottle and stay suspended in the water

Jain said, one should select the most compatible film substrate. He said, “Some sleeves materials have a density of <1.0 and thus float in the float/sink tank, remaining with the PP/PE. This material cannot be removed during the recycling process. Hence, it can contaminate the recycled PP/PE if not compatible with PP/PE.”
 

Myth #2: Shrink sleeves contain banned plasticisers: Prima facie, it seems PVC is the villain when PVC is used widely in medical and consumer equipment or automobile industry where safer recyclable alternatives are available.

So, what is the solution? We asked Chetan Jain. He said, “Many manufacturers continue to make PVC with plasticizers, but a more eco-friendly alternative of plasticiser-free PVC Shrink film is available. Using a plasticizer-free PVC with a mechanism of disposal and proper removal of the sleeves from the container can ensure that PVC film is recycled to make second grade PVC resin which is used to make car parts, furniture, pipes, and some other products.”

 

Myth #3: Sustainable plastics: a dream or a reality? Do brands even have a road map? A glance at the consumer’s timelines would reveal the following chronological order to implement cleaner plastics.

Phase 1: Switch to a safer “non-toxic” plastic

Phase 2: Reduce plastic consumption by weight

Phase 3: Move to a recyclable plastic

A rule of thumb according to Chetan Jain, “the time duration between each phase can be five to ten years. Right now, most companies are in phase 1 or phase 2. So a brand's priority is to reduce plastic consumption by downsizing or downgauging and switching to environmentally ‘inert’ films like PET-G.”


Myth #4: PVC Vs PET-G, one if all good, is the other all bad? Popularly referred to as PET-G or polyethylene Terephthalate Glycol is a kind of thermoplastic polyester celebrated for its pliability. PET-G is long-lasting and resistant to chemicals, making it a good choice for various production processes. 

 

Myth #5: Shifting from PVC to PET-G shrink sleeves is a challenge: Many Indian and global FMCG manufacturers are shifting from PVC shrink sleeves to PET-G Shrink Sleeves for global compliance and environmental reasons. A shrink curve analysis will tell you at what temperature a precise percentage of shrinkage happens for the shrink sleeves.

Hot air or steam tunnel: Steam provides more uniform heat across the tunnel chamber as compared to a hot air tunnel. For steam tunnels, switching to any grade of PET-G can be done immediately.

Shrink force: Shrink force refers to the force exerted by the shrink film on the walls of the container when the film shrinks in the heat tunnel. This characteristic is important to understand because the sleeves may try to de-form or de-shape the container upon shrinking.

Ambient Temperature and All Weather Trials: HDPE and PP containers expand or contract, depending on the temperature. So a sleeve may give different results on such conditions based on the weather.

Hot Melt/HAL: A vertical hot melt strip in PVC sleeves is generally alright. But in a PE/PP container with PET-G Shrink Sleeves, a vertical Hot melt might create wrinkles.

Chetan Jain said, 5 Myths about Sustainable Shrink Sleeves is beneficial for plastic raw material converters, shrink sleeve converters, label converters, recyclers, packaging professionals, sustainability professionals, brand owners and the students of the plastic and packaging industry.

 

Latest Poll

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Results

The packaging industry is confused by recycling and sustainability rules in India. What is the biggest challenge?

Shortcomings in EPR policy

 

22.22%

Inadequate infrastructure

 

11.11%

Shortage of recycling firms

 

16.67%

Lack of consumer awareness

 

50.0%

Total Votes : 18

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