As part of its sustainable development strategy, Henkel, a consumer goods company, is working to further improve the recyclability of its product packaging and increase the use of recyclable materials. Henkel, packaging manufacturer Mondi and Recycling Technologies Inc. jointly developed a project to significantly improve the sustainability of plastic multi-layer flexible packaging.
“The recycling company APK in Messerburg, near Leipzig, Germany, has developed an innovative solvent-based process, Newcycling®, which can recover high quality clean grade materials from complex multi-layer packaging. Similar to the original plastic material,” explains Klaus Wohnig, general manager of APK. The traditional mechanical recycling process cannot do this. Another advantage is that Newcycling® offers a very competitive price advantage while providing high levels of recycled materials.
Mundy's R&D center in Grono, Germany, tested the LDPE applicability of recovery from APK for multi-layered membranes and successfully conducted preliminary tests on site at a pilot plant. In this project, the original LDPE material used for flexible detergent packaging was largely replaced by APK LDPE recycled materials. Mondi uses recycled materials in co-extrusion and delamination of PE films and combines them with printed PET film to form a composite duplex structure while maintaining the appearance of the detergent bag.
The commercialization of the project and its anticipated market launch in early 2019 are currently being reviewed by project partners.