Stretching performance to produce greener film

Stretch and shrink films can be a huge benefit in reducing waste – such as by ensuring that goods transported on pallets are not damaged in transit. In keeping with their importance in cutting waste, there are also moves to ensure that all types of stretch and shrink film are produced more sustainably. For instance, Total and several

partners in the construction value chain have set up a project to recycle shrink hoods. The Clean Site Circular Project aims to create new shrink hoods from recycled material, without any degradation in film perfor- mance. The partners say that a closed loop ‘shrink hood to shrink hood’ is industrially feasible and technically equivalent to virgin solutions. The film recipe, devel- oped by Total, requires the use of its Lumicene Supertough 22ST05 as ‘booster’ for the recyclates in order to match demanding market requirements. The project, coordinated by

Valipac, also includes: Morssinkhof Rymoplast (which produces recyclate from collected shrink hoods); Oerlemans Packaging (which produces shrink hood films); Wienerberg- er (which uses the shrink hoods for its pallets of building materials); and Fema, which represents building materials companies in Belgium. Through Fema, the partners intend to spread the project to the construction market across Europe. At the recent Stretch & Shrink Film conference in

Barcelona, Spain, Valipac’s business development director, Karel Gemmeke, shed more light on the project. “We ensure the selective collection of shrink hoods on construction sites through this project,” he said. Typically, a shrink hood made from recylate will have inferior properties to one made from virgin resin. However, he said that the new design – using

Stretch and shrink films are becoming increasingly focused on the environment – with schemes ranging from increased use of recyclate to ways of reducing energy consumption. Lou Reade reports

Lumicene as a ‘booster’ – ensured that the ‘circular’ shrink hood was technically equivalent to those made from virgin material. He estimated the potential for

recycled shrink hoods in Belgium at 40,000 tonnes/year, and 500,000 tonnes/year across Europe. The next steps for the project include: testing with alternative

recyclates; developing business models to stimulate the use of circular shrink sleeves; and disseminating the project further. n The next Stretch & Shrink Film conference is held in New Orleans, USA, on 3-4 December 2019.

For more details, contact Alexandra Fish

( on +44 (0)117 314 8113.

Embracing recyclability Eastman has expanded its Embrace family of co-polyester resins for shrink film by enhancing their recyclability. Embrace resins “enable 360-de- gree graphics and eye-catching designs for unique, highly contoured packaging”, says the company. Its Smart Recycle portfolio offers three solutions – including two new resins – that increase the recycla- bility of shrink-labelled PET packaging. This helps brand owners choose a resin that works for them, but without sacrificing sustainability goals, it says.

July/August 2019 | FILM & SHEET EXTRUSION 23

Main image: Eastman’s Embrace co-polyester resins, for shrink wrap labelling, now include three new recyclable options

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