Dow, Vishakha Polyfab develops recyclable barrier film liquid packaging

Dow, Vishakha Polyfab develops recyclable barrier film for liquid packaging

5:10 AM, 12th February 2018
Dow, Vishakha Polyfab develops recyclable barrier film for liquid packaging
Diego Donoso, president, Dow packaging & speciality plastics, handing 'certificate of collaboration' to Jigish Doshi, CMD, Vishakha Polyfab.

AHMEDABAD, INDIA: Dow Chemical International Pvt Ltd has collaborated with its value chain partner in India to solve the issue of recycling barrier films.

Dow packaging & speciality plastics (P&SP) has advanced its partnership with a local leading barrier film manufacturer, Vishakha Group, to develop a ‘recyclable barrier film’ for liquid packaging. This allows for an increased use of recycled plastic materials and provides an incentive for recovery of post-consumption plastics waste.

The food industry is increasingly using barrier packaging to extend a product’s shelf life. Trims and scraps of barrier films are not easy to recycle due to the incompatibility of polar and non-polar polymers. Barrier film converters end up giving away these scraps at practically no value as they are not able to reuse the scraps in new films. They are now paying more attention to resource management and waste reduction at their facilities to increase their profitability.

This innovative technology is based on a reactive, ultra-low viscosity compatibilizer. Reactive groups ‘coat’ the polar components, encapsulating them into micro-domains to enable excellent dispersion. When blended at specified ratios with pelletized barrier film recycle streams, the Retain polymers allow converters to recycle barrier film trim back into film production without sacrificing optical or physical properties.

The benefits include:

  • Opportunity to make better use of recycle stream (versus selling for low value or landfilling)
  • May eliminate or reduce costs associated with collecting, packaging, and selling scrap
  • Could reduce costs by utilizing scrap for bulk layer
  • Potential to meet company’s or industry’s sustainability goals (eg. Zero-Landfill objectives)
  • Option to make post-industrial recycle content claims

“With Dow’s Retain polymer modifiers, barrier film converters will be able to recycle up to 100 percent of their scrap and meet converters’ and industry’s sustainability goals. Retain polymer modifiers were developed using Dow’s extensive knowledge of material science and reactive chemistry to enable the efficient compatibilization of two otherwise immiscible materials while maintaining critically value-added physical properties. Retain 2000 is most specifically designed to compatibilize polyamide (nylon) and ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) into a continuous polyethylene matrix,” said Greg Bunker, global business director for speciality plastics of Dow P&SP.

“We at Vishakha always strive to be in businesses which contribute to the sustainable growth of the country, such as enhancing agriculture, storage solutions and packaging material for a longer shelf life with renewable energy participation. With this new development we have added a new tool to our toolbox by offering a recyclable barrier film solution which will not only add to the shelf life of the product but also help our community through the recycling of packaging material,” said Jigish Doshi, CMD of Vishakha Polyfab.

“This was a joint effort between Dow P&SP and Vishakha team, to develop a nylon-based barrier film empowered with Dow’s Retain compatibilizer to make it recyclable. The project was triggered by an initiative with India’s leading edible oil brand, and will lead to manufacturing and potential recycling of over 20,000 MT of barrier film in India,” added Vipul Babu, sales director for Dow P&SP, India sub-continent.

Dow announced the partnership with Vishakha at PlastIndia 2018.

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