Innovative Technology Makes Flexible Packaging Recyclable
- Technology from Covestro weakens the bond strength of PU adhesives
- Laminated films in multilayer packaging can be separated after use
- The individual materials can be recycled later
They are indispensable in modern everyday life: Flexible packaging made from several layers of film enables the hygienic and safe storage of many foods. However, the versatile packaging has a problem: sustainable disposal. After use, the bonded films in the material mix are difficult to separate from one another – and that is why such flexible packaging is unfortunately only partially recyclable.
Covestro has identified the problem – and has developed a process for recycling companies and packaging manufacturers to address this problem: In the case of multi-layer film packages laminated with polyurethane (PU) adhesive, the respective materials can be separated from one another again thanks to the new technology. The team will now present the development at the K 2022 trade fair from 19 to 26 October in Düsseldorf.
In the process, a special separation agent specifically weakens the bond strength of the PU adhesive. Since the separation agent consists of natural ingredients and water, it is also very sustainable. For packaging manufacturers and recyclers, the process offers a major advantage: “Our know-how helps them to make better use of the residual value of their packaging and thus makes more materials available to the recycling industry,” says Thomas Fait. The New Business Development Manager for Adhesives at Covestro has led the development of the technology on a laboratory scale. “With projects like this, we contribute to achieve our corporate vision: to make the circular economy a reality. For this purpose, we work with partners from a wide variety of fields and industries and are always looking for ways how our products and technologies can help other companies become circular.”
At the K 2022 trade fair, the team will be presenting the technology to the plastics industry for the first time and looking for potential partners from the packaging and recycling industry to further develop the process together with them.
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