Recyclable Resource-efficient Packaging Enabled by Oriented Polyethylene

Kevin Lifsey

Presented by Dr. Karlheinz Hausmann, DOW Chemical Company

The journey towards a circular economy requires the increase of recycling rates and the reduction of packaging materials. Dow is offering a broad technology platform to enable value chain partners to redesign difficult to recycle multimaterial packages into monomaterial packages that are more compatible with existing polyethylene recycling streams. The challenge here is the Polyethylene does not have the same stiffness and mechanical properties than those materials it should replace. One approach to resolve this is by mechanically orienting polyethylene films, and this way make them stiffer and stronger, while reducing their stiffness. Dow is leading the development in  different technologies that  will be discussed in order to make this happen: Tenter frame orientation, machine directional orientation and double/triple bubble. These films then can serve as components or final films for redesigned Polyethylene based packages that are not only sufficiently protecting the packaged products but also may use less packaging film resources than conventional solutions. Some application examples will be given in food and non food packaging areas.

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