Royal DSM together with APK, are cooperation on recycling multilayer food packaging films made of PE and PA6 using APK's Newcycling process, a technique that makes it possible to recover high-quality re-granulates with properties close to virgin plastics.
Bergen op Zoom/The Netherlands; Merseburg/Germany — Many multilayer barrier films for food packaging consist of a combination of PE and PA6, where PE acts as a barrier for moisture and PA6 as a barrier for oxygen thus significantly extending the shelf life of the packaged food. Such packaging cannot be produced with a mono-material PE film, since the layer thicknesses to achieve sufficient barrier properties would become too high. The addition of PA6 in the multi-material solution reduces the total layer thickness significantly and improves the mechanical integrity of the film resulting in less rupture of the films during transportation and logistics.
APK's recycling process can recover re-granulates from complex mixtures and multi-layer composites (so-called multilayer barrier packaging). With conventional recycling systems this is not possible. Florian Riedl, Head of Business Development at APK AG, says that the Newcycling process works highly cost-efficient and offers a competitive, sustainable material source. The re-granulates, generated from multilayer PE/PA6 packaging waste, could be used again in demanding flexible packaging which contributes to the target of a circular economy, he explained.
APK is building a plant for recycling multilayer PE/PA6 packaging, using Newcycling process, which will start up in Q4 of this year.