Huhtamaki integrates APK’s LDPE recyclate into laminated tubes

The inclusion of recycled plastics into diverse packaging formats is a challenge for the plastics and packaging value chains, as material performance, performance of the packaging product and protection of the content need to be guaranteed.


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Plastic Recycling
 
August 11 2020
 
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Huhtamaki Flexible Packaging Europe said it is strongly committed to meeting this challenge for flexible packaging and, specifically, for laminated tube applications.

The tube produced with Huhtamaki’s laminate contains Mersalen recyclates, produced by APK AG, and the companies said its performance is nearly identical with the standard referenced PBL structure produced with virgin LDPE.

APK AG’s PE recyclate Mersalen, produced by the company’s solvent-based Newcycling technology, is generated from complex polyethylene/polyamide multilayer film waste that is difficult for most conventional recycling processes. “The quality and purity of our LDPE recyclate shows properties close to virgin plastics and is suitable for a wide range of packaging applications,” said Florian Riedl, APK AG’s Director of Business Development.

“We recently succeeded in integrating the first quantities of recycled plastics into one of our standard plastic barrier laminate for tubes,” said Thomas Stroh, R&D Manager at Huhtamaki Flexible Packaging Europe. “This development brings us a major step closer to contributing to the EU’s packaging recycling targets for flexible packaging formats.”

The  tube produced with Huhtamaki’s laminate contains 19% Mersalen recyclates, and the R&D unit at Huhtamaki Flexible Packaging Europe said it plans to further increase the percentage of recycled content in their products and will test recyclates based on different feedstock streams.

“When it comes to our waste feedstock streams, APK is looking into all options. We are producing recyclates from post-industrial material, we research compounds of post-industrial and post-consumer streams and, of course, we ultimately aim to provide excellent quality from post-consumer mixed plastic waste,” said Riedl.

Currently, LDPE-recyclates based purely on post-consumer waste and suitable for food and cosmetic packaging, which requires food contact compliance, are not yet available on the European market. The companies said they are cooperating closely to solve this challenge.

 

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