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The Netherlands: PE Recycling

DSM and APK to Partner on Recycling of Multilayer Food Packaging Films

| Editor: Alexander Stark

DSM and APK cooperate on recycling multilayer food packaging films.
DSM and APK cooperate on recycling multilayer food packaging films. (Source: gemeinfrei / CC0)

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.

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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.

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