Robert Clare, Nova Chemicals
Convertors and Brands are facing challenges in development and sourcing of sustainable barrier films and laminates due to multiple reasons-
• Using barrier technology that allows accreditation with the recycling industry schemes,
• Allows clear film for product windows
• Is not subject to high costs or availability constraints
• Does not require complex manufacturing technology
Clear barrier films are desirable for packaging and this can be achieved with EvoH layers (albeit with additional tie layers and compatiblizers) and still receive recyclable accreditation.
However, EvoH is currently difficult to obtain for some suppliers due to raw material shortages, and is forcing Brands and convertors to move to more exotic/expensive coated film solutions
What is required is a simpler, and easier to produce solution that gives the correct shelf life and applicability for PE recycling streams, without the need for complex film structures and expensive work-arounds for contaminating polymeric layers.
NOVA Chemicals and Verdafresh teamed up to develop mono-material, recyclable barrier films made with BOPE-HD film and a novel nanoclay coating technology that provides a simpler alternative.
NOVA BOPE laminate structures incorporating Verdafresh barrier coating deliver exceptional OTR (<0.1 cc / 100 in2 / day), and they have passed the APR critical guidance test for recyclability in PE flexible film laminates, allowing the How2recycle scheme accreditation to follow.
While this work aims to replace conventional mixed material laminates to improve the recyclability of flexible packaging, it is imperative to maintain the aesthetics, convenience and performance that consumers expect, and the shelf-life that brands require. With these film structures, brands and consumers do not need to trade product freshness for sustainability.
The speaker will share insights on the innovations that resulted in an EVOH-free, recyclable barrier package.
Rob Clare, Application Development Specialist at NOVA Chemicals Corporation
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