Investment in sustainable packaging continues to climb

Investment in sustainable packaging continues to climb

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A new report, ‘Sustainable Packaging in Europe: the drive for change’, launched yesterday at the Rethinking Materials Innovation and Investment Summit in London, shows that the material choices made by the European packaging industry are changing at a rapid pace, said Sustainableplastics.

The report was commissioned by Aquapak, the company behind Hydropol, a water-soluble, biodegradable polymer based on PVOH suitable for various packaging uses, including coated or laminated bags and pouches. To dispose of, consumers can put the packaging into their household paper waste. The Hydropol layer is formulated to ‘wash off’ - dissolve - during the paper repulping process and then either biodegrades in the wastewater system or turned into clean energy if the plant has an AD system.

Based on a survey carried out by research firm Pure Profile among 150 sustainability and packaging experts across the UK, Italy and Germany) in March 2023, the findings show that 62% expect their company to increase their budgets for investing in sustainable packaging material over the next five years, with a further 23% expecting to see budgets increase dramatically.

Over the next five years, the use of multi-material solutions combining paper and plastic, new polymers and paper is expected to rise, whilst the use of polyethylene is set to decline. The majority - 83% - of respondents said they planned to increase their use of multi-material solutions across their product portfolios, while (72%) will make more use of paper over the next five years. 69% and 65% anticipate a greater use of new polymers, such as PVOH and bioplastics, respectively in their packaging material. These trends are similar over a ten-year horizon.

Sustainability, however, must go hand-in-hand with important attributes such as product protection. The respondents indicated that barrier properties, extending the shelf life and functionality – ease of use for the end-consumer - outweighed the importance of recyclability.

As Aquapak CEO Mark Lapping pointed out, the report shows the European packaging industry is moving towards more sustainable materials as they focus on the circular economy.

“However, it is also clear that the job packaging has to do is paramount, with product protection and functionality a priority. The good news is that new barrier film technologies exist, offering both performance and environmental responsibility at scale,” he said.

We remind, According to the Federal Environment Agency, around 3.33 million tonnes of plastic waste were recycled or reused as raw materials in Germany in 2019. More than 38 per cent of this was polypropylene (PP). Yet recycling this PP comes with its own set of problems, caused by the fact that due to the sometimes very long polymer chains, the melt flow index of PP derived from the mechanical pre-sorting of various material streams is often too low to allow for further processing via either injection moulding or extrusion.

Trinseo, RWDC develop PHA dispersions for paper and paperboard

Trinseo, RWDC develop PHA dispersions for paper and paperboard

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A new partnership between raw materials supplier Trinseo and bioplastic producer RWDC Industries LLC will address the challenge of the recyclability of barrier-coated paper and board packaging, the companies have announced, said Sustainableplastics.

Building on ongoing efforts to optimise PHA dispersions for paper and paperboard barrier coating applications, the two plan to further develop and commercialise polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA) dispersion technology for specific target markets. This technology will be based on RWDC’s proprietary Solon PHA and aimed at creating water-based barrier coatings that are recyclable in traditional paper processes, organically recyclable via composting, and biodegradable in soil and marine environments. It can offer a material solution for an application that has high-performance requirements while being environmentally safe, as Blake Lindsey, CCO for RWDC Industries, noted.

The partnership is an example of how Trinseo is ‘striving to refine our product portfolio to deliver innovative, customer-centric products that solve material challenges with tailored, sustainable solutions’, according to Andre Hugentobler, global new business development and technology & innovation director, Latex Binders at Trinseo. This partnership with RWDC is a perfect example, he added.

The goal is to provide a new solution that can meet the demand for chemistry that supports sustainable packaging solutions - and provide an alternative that will help combat the challenges the world faces with single-use, non-recyclable packaging waste and fluorochemical treatments used in barrier coatings.

We remind, Trinseo, a specialty material solutions provider, announced the inauguration of its polycarbonate (PC) dissolution pilot facility in Terneuzen, the Netherlands. The new pilot facility is a major step in Trinseo’s commitment to sustainability, part of the journey in realizing the company’s sustainability goals. The guests of honor at the inauguration ceremony included Jo-Annes de Bat, Provincial Executive (responsible for regional economy) of the Netherlands.

Upcycling PP with peroxide masterbatches

Upcycling PP with peroxide masterbatches

MOSCOW (MRC) -- According to the Federal Environment Agency, around 3.33 million tonnes of plastic waste were recycled or reused as raw materials in Germany in 2019, said Sustainableplastics.

More than 38 per cent of this was polypropylene (PP). Yet recycling this PP comes with its own set of problems, caused by the fact that due to the sometimes very long polymer chains, the melt flow index of PP derived from the mechanical pre-sorting of various material streams is often too low to allow for further processing via either injection moulding or extrusion.

This issue can be addressed by using peroxide, which shortens the long PP polymer chains, increasing the melt flow index. However, both in liquid and powder form, the transport and especially the handling of this flammable, highly reactive and sometimes explosive chemical are subject to stringent safety regulations.

Handling peroxides require the use of protective equipment and special dosing technology. In addition, peroxides are volatile, with a limited shelf life even when stored correctly. For this reason, Polyvel Europe, a compounder based in Jork, Germany, developed their P-Series range of peroxide masterbatches designed to improve the flow properties of recycled polypropylene with additive concentrations of 5%, 10% and 20% peroxide. The masterbatches are available in granulate form, making them safe to handle and easy to dose, and can be stored for over five years as the peroxide cannot volatise.

"The chemical is incorporated into a polymeric carrier material and then converted into granule form," explained Anno Sebbel, sales manager at Polyvel. "In this way, the peroxide is encapsulated from environmental influences until the time of processing."

Peroxide masterbatches can be used to modify the viscosity in a targeted manner, which leads to an increase in the melt flow index of polypropylene. On the one hand, this makes it possible to process recycled polypropylene in injection moulding in the first place. On the other hand, the peroxide masterbatch can also be dosed directly in the injection moulding process to further increase the flowability of the material. In many cases, thin-walled components with long flow paths can be produced more reliably and with greater process reliability.

The higher flowability also allows for a lower processing temperature, and hence a shorter cooling time, cutting the overall cycle time, increasing productivity, and ultimately lowering production costs.

The results can be reliably reproduced due to the predictable dosing of the masterbatches. By being able to adjust the melt flow of polypropylene so precisely and cost-effectively, recyclates can also be processed as a higher-quality starting material, saving on the use of primary raw materials in the production of plastic components and products.

We remind, Vietnam's Stavian Quang Yen Petrochemical JSC said it had awarded a contract to design a USD1.5-B polypropylene plant in the country to Italian engineering group Maire Tecnimont. The 10-month Front End Engineering Design contract signed on the same day in Hanoi was for the development of the plant to be built in the northern province of Quang Ninh, Stavian said in a statement. Stavian said earlier the plant would start commercial operations from the fourth quarter of 2026 and would produce 600,000 tons of polypropylene annually to supply manufacturers of home appliances, automobiles, electronics and medical equipment.

Nova goes global with resins for BOPE-HD film

Nova goes global with resins for BOPE-HD film

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nova Chemicals Corp. now has resins used to make biaxially oriented high density polyethylene (BOPE-HD) film available on a global level, said Sustainableplastics.

Officials with Nova in Calgary, Alberta, said that films made with the resins are an alternative to traditional biaxially oriented PET films. They added that biaxial film manufacturers have successfully produced BOPE-HD film on commercial tenter frame lines.

BOPE-HD film is a recyclable alternative to traditional, non-recyclable, mixed material films for flexible packaging, officials said. The films extend the life of plastic packaging, they added, helping to eliminate waste.

Nova first made the resins as part of its Surpass-brand product line in 2020. Film companies that worked with Nova on commercializing the resins include Inteplast of the U.S., JK Materials of South Korea, Oben Group of Ecuador and Polivouga of Portugal.

BOPE-HD films are ideal for applications such as meat and poultry, cheese, seafood, snack food, carton liners, baked goods, fresh produce, frozen foods and deli bags, Nova officials said. They added that machinery maker Bruckner Maschinenbau "has been instrumental" in bringing BOPE-HD online.

Bruckner has sold 18 BOPE/BO polypropylene hybrid lines worldwide, with nine lines already in operation. These lines allow for additional capacity, officials said, allowing for continued development and production of BOPE-HD solutions. One of the new lines is being used by Polivouga.

"Understanding the positive impact of these fully recyclable films on our industry and the environment is precisely why we have invested in a hybrid line that can satisfy the demand for BOPE-HD film," Polivouga Technical Service and Development Manager Diogo Barros said.

Polivouga, JK, Bruckner and packaging equipment supplier Effytec of Spain highlighted the Nova resins at the recent Interpack trade show in Dusseldorf, Germany.

"The successful launch of these films relied on the collaborative efforts of all the players involved in bringing mono-material packaging to the consumer and store shelves, including equipment manufacturers, film converters, and product packagers," Nova application development team leader Owen Lightbody said.

Nova is one of North America's largest PE resin makers. The firm employs almost 2,500 worldwide and has annual sales of USD3.6 billion.

We remind, NOVA Chemicals Corporation, a global leader in the production of polyethylene resins, and Pregis, a leading manufacturer of flexible and protective packaging, are collaborating to deliver high performing sustainable packaging solutions for food applications that are used in stand-up pouches (SUPs), fitmented pouches, and lay-flat bags. Pregis will showcase the SUPs co-developed with NOVA Chemicals at the upcoming Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) event in Austin, TX, US, from 24-27 Apr 2023.

Braskem´s owner Novonor says won’t hold talks with ADNOC, Apollo

Braskem´s owner Novonor says won’t hold talks with ADNOC, Apollo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Officials from Latin America's biggest petrochemical company Braskem, also owner of an ethylene-polyethylene complex in Mexico and also the biggest polypropylene producer in North America with five plants in the U.S., said that Braskem's owners Novonor won’t talk with the Abu Dhabi state oil company ADNOC and the Apollo fund that made earlier in May a joint offer for Braskem, said Reuters.

Pedro Texeira de Freitas, Braskem's financial director, wrote on May 16, 2023 to the Brazilian stock authorities a letter to provide requested information around a report it said was published four days earlier in Brazilian newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo titled: “Braskem controllers disapprove offer from arabs.”

“The offer made by the fund Apollo and the state Adnoc (Abu Dhabi National Oil Company) did not go through the examination of Novonor (formerly Odebrech) and neither from the top officials from Petrobras,” a letter from the company management to Brazilian stock authorities said.

Braskem's institutional investors director Pedro van Langendonck Teixeira de Freitas said that the offer made of 47 Brazilian reais (about $9.40) per share would not represent that amount paid to shareholders that in reality may only receive just about 20 reais per share.

“It is for that that the two main shareholders Novonor (with little more than 50%) and Petrobras (38%) do not want to sit at the negotiation table,” the letter stated.

“Novonor up to this moment has not received any proposal from potentially interested parties that would imply material binding evolution in discussions being held with banks” that hold claims to stakes, the letter said.

Braskem's Teixeira de Freitas said that Braskem?s management had contacted Novonor to ask for information related to any sale decision, and that it received a written reply where the majority owner stated its intention to abstain from talks.

We remind, Eni and ADNOC will explore potential opportunities in the areas of renewable energy, blue and green hydrogen, carbon dioxide capture and storage (CCS), in the reduction of greenhouse gas and methane gas emissions, energy efficiency, routine gas flaring reduction and the Global Methane Pledge, to support global energy security and a sustainable energy transition. In addition, they will evaluate areas of cooperation for sustainable development and promoting the spread of a culture of sustainability within the energy industry and its stakeholders.