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High-barrier food pouch designed for recyclability

High-barrier food pouch designed for recyclability

News 01.09.2021

Together with a value chain team, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a business unit of Dow (NYSE: DOW) announced the successful development of an innovative, polyethylene(PE)-based, high-barrier food pouch, which is not only functional, but designed to enable recyclability in PE-streams. The pouches have been created together with Syntegon, Comexi, Ticinoplast and Plastchim-T.

The flexible pouches are made predominantly from a single material: PE. Mono-material pouches are easier to recycle than packaging structures available on the market today, which are made up of multiple materials, each performing a different function. The solution that the team has been able to create enables customers to achieve the necessary functionality provided by those multiple materials – for example, oxygen and water vapor barrier, printability, toughness, stiffness, excellent gloss and clarity – without compromising recyclability.

Each project member was able to bring in a unique perspective and experience from decades of packaging processing expertise, which led to the new pouch design being developed to run at speed on existing machinery, delivering high quality at each step of the way and therefore providing a commercially-viable solution to the market:

  • The creation was enabled by the combination of a high-performance, tenter-frame biaxially-oriented polyethylene (TF-BOPE) film developed by Ticinoplast and produced at Plastchim-T, with an enhanced barrier lamination film produced at Dow’s Pack Studios Tarragona.
  • High-quality, solvent-free, offset printing was demonstrated on a CI8 press at Comexi where the solvent-free lamination step was also performed.
  • The packaging was created at high speed on Syntegon’s innovative vertical form-fill-seal (VFFS) machinery with an output of 80 pouches per minute, which makes it a commercially viable solution.

This collaboration is another example of how Dow is working with partners to ensure that flexibles and films, which are currently hard to recycle, are able to be recycled – and to drive game changing innovation to help keep plastic waste from entering the environment. It aligns to Dow’s target to ensure that all of its products sold into packaging applications are reusable or recyclable by 2035.

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