Joint event highlights the benefits of recycled plastics

Joint event highlights the benefits of recycled plastics

Wholly-owned BASF subsidiary trinamiX GmbH, a provider of mobile spectroscopy solutions and chemicals company BASF have teamed up with two other businesses to raise awareness about the value of recycling used materials into new products, said Sustainableplastics.

Together with Net Your Problem, a company that works with fishing communities, recyclers and sustainable brands to recycle end?of?life fishing gear, and Grundens, a leading manufacturer of fishing apparel and footwear, the companies organised events in the Puget Sound area around Seattle on 9-10 May demonstrating the potential for circularity of plastics in harbours.

A key part of the event took place at the three participating ports of Bellingham, Seattle, and Port Townsend; here, fisherman could hand in their old fishing and rain gear to be recycled.

Volunteers from different companies collected, identified, and sorted the incoming materials, using a new tech solution developed by trinamiX to identify the different material types in a matter of seconds. This enable the items to be sorted into pure material streams prior to being recycled.

“Sorting is at the crux of a functioning recycling system, and the trinamiX solution allows us to do this on the spot, increasing the purity of the products we provide to recyclers and helping educate fishermen about what is recyclable,” explained Nicole Baker, founder of Net Your Problem. Use was made of local resources to minimise the carbon emissions associated with the event, thus enhancing and safeguarding the sustainability of the project itself.

Not only were many of the participants local volunteers including students from Western Washington University, but after collection, the materials were compressed onsite with balers provided by machinery manufacturers Bramidan Group and Blankenship Equipment. Baling reduces the amount of space materials take up in trucks, resulting in more efficient transport to the nearby recycling facilities.

The multiple material streams generated from the collected fishing gear and apparel will be processed by different companies. The nets provide new raw material for Grundens to create new products such as jackets, boots, and pants. BASF’s Performance Materials business is also looking at applications for the recyclate derived from these products.

“For trinamiX and BASF, the event shows that joint commitment along the value chain and innovative approaches turn recycling challenges into business opportunities,” concluded Brian Schmatz, Business Development Manager at trinamiX GmbH.

We remind, BASF announced that it has received the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS for certain grades of plastic additives produced at its manufacturing sites in Kaisten, Switzerland and McIntosh, Alabama, United States.

Yili Group and Sidel strengthen strategic partnership and drive innovation through installation of versatile Aseptic Lab filler

Yili Group and Sidel strengthen strategic partnership and drive innovation through installation of versatile Aseptic Lab filler

Yili Group, Asia’s largest dairy company, received support and expertise from Sidel to install a versatile Aseptic Lab filler, which has been designed primarily for research and development and is situated in Yili’s specially constructed facility, said Polymerupdate.

It will enable the regional market leader to launch new products and adapt existing bottles, further enhancing its reputation for innovation.

Already in operation, Sidel’s versatile Aseptic Lab filler has been designed with the customer’s specific needs in mind and will allow Yili to lead the market in innovation and versatility while providing a platform to rapidly develop and launch products more efficiently.

Compact in scale, the versatile Aseptic Lab filler was conceived to enable Yili to research and test product designs, enabling test runs consisting of a small number of bottles with different shapes and sizes. Entirely flexible, the line also allows Yili’s developers to customise any element of the test projects, ranging from the overall product to the specific neck, bottle format or capping. In addition to the several types of aseptic filling processes for both still and carbonated drinks, this lab line can handle other types of filling processes, such as hot filling. Additional benefits include huge flexibility, simplicity of operation, comprehensive maintenance and troubleshooting.

As a provider of healthy food and a strong advocate of a healthy lifestyle, Yili aligns closely to its highest principle belief of quality being as precious as life itself. Yili has been supported by Sidel in meeting new demands for products, helping to maintain its leading position in the dairy market and to develop its presence in the market of other soft drinks.

The delivery of Sidel’s versatile Aseptic Lab filler, along with a new EvoBLOW eHR with six cavities, benefited from a combination of expertise, both in China and across the world. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges during the assembly of the line. However, Sidel and Yili cooperated very closely to ensure the successful completion of the project. The installation and technical assistance were delivered fully through professional guidance, conducted remotely via virtual calls by Sidel, and executed on the ground by experienced engineers based in Greater China.

Sidel and Yili have forged a strategic partnership which commenced in 2017. Sidel’s values of customer excellence, collaboration, innovation, and sustainability align with similar values typical of Yili Group too, who assessed equipment capacity, technical support, ability to innovate, product quality, sustainable development and service across the board in their search for a strategic partner.

Filippo Fu, Sidel Regional Sales Director China, said: “The official launch of the PET versatile Aseptic Lab filler in Yili’s Shanghai innovation centre represents the further deepening of the strategic partnership between Yili and Sidel, from equipment supplying to all-round cooperation in packaging development, product development, resource and knowledge sharing. In relying on Sidel’s new PET versatile Aseptic Lab filler, Yili will not only continue to consolidate and expand its leading position in PET dairy packaging but also lay a solid foundation for further expanding its popularity and influence in the beverage industry. Yili’s choice also proves the value and contribution of Sidel in food safety, packaging innovation and sustainable development."

Innovation and sustainability are of mutual importance to both Sidel and Yili. The ongoing strategic partnership will enable Sidel to support Yili in leading in this area, with the newly-installed versatile Aseptic Lab filler providing the means to develop designs and products which maintain an existing level of sustainability. It will also be able to experiment and attempt breakthroughs in energy conservation, in addition to consumption and emission reduction, which can be shared to enable Sidel to further strengthen its service to customers.

We remind, Berry Global Group, Inc., Peel Plastic Products Ltd., and ExxonMobil are working together to integrate International Sustainability and Carbon Certificate (ISCC) PLUS certified-circular plastics into pet food packaging for household brand names. The collaboration leverages ExxonMobil’s ExxtendTM technology for advanced recycling, which processes plastic waste and attributes it to new plastic for food-grade packaging through a mass balance approach.

Investment in sustainable packaging continues to climb

Investment in sustainable packaging continues to climb

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

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

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.