Recyclable PE pouch with high-barrier properties

A value chain collaboration between ExxonMobil, Henkel, Kraus Folie, Siegwerk, and Windmöller & Hölscher has reportedly resulted in a fully recyclable, high-barrier PE pouch with similar properties to its multi-material laminated alternatives

05 Apr 2023 | By Aditya Ghosalkar

Customers can remove the pouch’s printing ink and oxygen-barrier coating layer to produce this optimised recyclate

Said to utilise up-to-date polymers, inks, functional coatings, adhesives, and conversion technology, the new pouch can reportedly produce an almost colourless recyclate. This has been achieved through the application of Siegwerk’s de-inking primer technology to Windmöller & Hölscher’s Miraflex-II flexo printing press with a downstream unit.

Customers can remove the pouch’s printing ink and oxygen-barrier coating layer to produce this optimised recyclate, says Siegwerk. The company is currently offering solvent-based or water-based primers from its CIRKIT ClearPrime product range, which can be utilised in industrial hot-washing conditions.

Meanwhile, the pack’s oxygen barrier properties are credited to Henkel’s one-component barrier coating, Loctite Liofol BC 1582 RE, as well as Siegwerk’s CIRKIT OxyBar BC 1582. The coating is apparently compatible with both flexo and gravure presses at industrial machine speeds on various substrates, which is expected to provide excellent transparency.

Furthermore, Henkel’s solvent- free, two-component polyurethane laminating adhesive, Loctite Liofol LA 7102 RE / 6902 RE, is expected to improve the recyclability of the product; it has been designed for mono-material structures and has been certified as compatible with recycling by RecyClass.

Cyclos HTP has also confirmed that the pouch is recyclable, and Siegwerk also states that the product meets Critical Guidance by APR, one of the most widely accepted measures for assessing recyclability in plastics packaging design worldwide. Coloured and white inks from Siegwerk were used to match such requirements.

ExxonMobil has provided polyethylene materials that are expected to improve the pack’s integrity, including its Exceed S and Exceed XP resins alongside Exact plastomers in the sealant later. The MDO-PE films are in turn a joint development between ExxonMobil and Kraus Folie, produced on the Varex-II extrusion line with in-line MDO unit using ExxonMobil’s HDPE and enabling performance PE.

Additionally, the pouch is anticipated to offer higher primer transparency in combination with consistent print quality and a glossy finish for high-quality shelf appeal. De-inking primer, print image, and barrier coating can apparently be applied in a single step using a MIRAFLEX machine.

Windmöller & Hölscher previously worked alongside TotalEnergies and Mitsubishi Chemical Group in the production of a High Barrier Stand-Up Pouch. Reportedly made of 98% PE and 2% EVOH, it is said to be fully recyclable and food-safe, and a successful proof of concept was completed last year.

Mondi also provided a recyclable, mono-material PE pouch to package refills for Henkel’s Pril hand dish-washing liquid, which also became available in a 100% recycled PET pump dispenser bottle.
 

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Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

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Which is the sustainable packaging product among MSMEs that is most popular?

Bagasse and biodegradable boxes

 

22.22%

Corrugated boxes

 

44.44%

Paper bags

 

33.33%

Recyclable plastic (bubble wraps, bio-plastic)

 

0%

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