Materials supplier Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe is adding a blown film line to help it work with converters, brand owners and retailers to make flexible packaging that is easier to recycle.
London-based Ineos did not specify how much it will spend on the project, but referred to it as being a "multi-million euro" investment, with a machine direction orientation (MDO) multilayer line from Hosokawa Alpine to be installed at its research and development lab in Brussels.
Ineos will then use the film line to partner with customers to "develop, design and produce polyethylene and polypropylene-based flexible packaging film using fewer polymers, increasing the recyclability of the product," the company said in a news release.
While flexible packaging offers a host of advantages in terms of cost and performance, its typical multi-material structure makes them hard to recycle. As a result, the films tend to end up in landfill or being incinerated.
Reducing the number of polymers used to produce these packaging films will not only enhance their recyclability but also help to prevent around one million tonnes of waste from being sent to landfill each year, Ineos said.
With the Hosokawa film line, Ineos will be able to develop mono-material packaging.
“This investment is further evidence of our commitment to taking action across the value chain to create a more sustainable future. Flexible packaging films keep our food fresh and safe to eat, but we recognize and share people’s concerns about plastic waste,” said Rob Ingram, CEO of Ineos O&P Europe North.
Ineos said the project has the potential to reduce 1 million metric tons of plastic waste each year.