As concerns about the sustainability of plastics grow and demand for recycled materials rises, Royal DSM has launched a project aimed at tackling the issues surrounding the recycling of both post industrial and post consumer mixed plastics waste, in particular end-of life multilayer food packaging films.
DSM Engineering Plastics, part of the materials arm of the Netherlands-based Royal DSM, announced July 24 that it was joining forces with German recycling company APK AG to advance a new, solvent-based physical recycling technology developed by the German recycler that enables the different polymer types in multi-layer plastics and mixed plastic waste to be separated.
Called Newcycling, the technology is claimed to be capable of recovering “high-quality re-granulates with properties close to virgin plastics”, from complex mixtures and multi-layer composites.
DSM will be contributing to the materials and applications development, an APK spokeswoman told Plastics News Europe without giving further details.
Many multilayer barrier films for food packaging consist of a combination of polyethylene and nylon 6, where PE acts as a barrier for moisture and nylon as a barrier for oxygen.
The multilayer structure allows for thin and economical packaging solutions that extend the shelf life of the packaged food in a way that is not achievable with a mono-material PE film, since the layer thicknesses to achieve sufficient barrier properties would become too high.