ICI Films will boost production of its Melinex Eco-brand recycled-content PET film in North America this year. Sherrod Tatum, product environmental manager for ICI Films in Wilmington, Del., said the film contains 25 percent post-consumer PET. The company has produced the film at its Hopewell, Va., plant for about one year, and now is interested in beefing up production.
``How much we will produce depends on the response from customers,'' Tatum said. ``It could be anywhere from 1 million pounds to 5 million pounds, depending on whether the customers embrace it.''
The film has Food and Drug Administration clearance for direct contact with all food products at all temperatures. Tatum said the company has been working with some converters to test the film, including its properties for metalization, lamination and other packaging applications.
``In general, a lot of converters may not be offering [post-con-sumer-content] films unless their customers ask for them, which is why we have been working directly with end users,'' Tatum said.
Besides obvious packaging applications for items like snacks, candy, coffee, tobacco and medical products, ICI recommends Melinex Eco for office and graphic applications.
``We have been working on using the [post-consumer-content] films in overhead transparencies for computers and printers, and for engineering drawings, in photographic and other graphic applications,'' he said.
The film costs about 10 percent more than the company's standard packaging films.
``However, many customers are looking for identifiable post-consumer content and for the advantages of PET as well, so they are interested in our film,'' Tatum said.
For the time being, all post-consumer recycled-content films will be produced at the Hope-well plant, but Tatum said the company may produce the film at its overseas plants. The company also manufactures laminated and coextruded films, some of which contain recycled PET as a core layer.
ICI Films is a business unit of ICI Americas Inc., also based in Wilmington. The company was eighth in Plastics News' 1994 ranking of North American film and sheet manufacturers, with estimated film and sheet sales of $397 million in 1993.