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Green materials: Constantia Flexibles’s recycle-ready laminate with improved chemical resistance; Avient’s additive/colouring solutions to facilitate recycled plastics in packaging

Constantia Flexibles’s recycle-ready laminate with improved chemical resistance

The world’s third-largest flexible packaging manufacturer, Constantia Flexibles, has launched the first ready-to-be-recycled mono-material based on PP with high chemical resistance for pharmaceutical products. It is a drop-in solution for existing packaging formats based on laminates like stick packs, sachets, and strip packs. Important for the production: The packaging machines do not have to be replaced, the existing equipment can be used.

“We highlight the need for more sustainable packaging in the pharmaceutical packaging business with our innovation Perpetua Alta,” states Joerg Adrian, Vice President Technical Organization & Innovation Pharma of Constantia Flexibles. The newest addition to its product portfolio combines “Design for Recycling” guidelines with high chemical resistance against aggressive liquid or gel formulations. The mono-polymer solution replaces the multi-material packaging for chemically aggressive products such as pharmaceutical liquid and gel compositions.

He also added that it was the company’s goal to achieve a high-performance ready-to-be-recycled solution and says that although designed for highly aggressive pharma products, it may also find applications in other market segments requiring high chemical resistance, e.g., food applications.

On top, third-party certification from the German Institute cyclos-HTP confirms the material recovery of up to 96%, depending on the final material configuration.

Traditional multilayer packaging for pharmaceutical products is not recyclable due to combination of different materials. Alternatives, such as recyclable mono-PE or mono-PP laminates, fulfill the recyclability factor but do not provide the required performance with respect to chemical resistance.

“It was a challenge. Our R&D and product management team worked hard to get where we are today: a full polypropylene recyclable solution with high chemical resistance (HCR) towards aggressive filling goods,” explained Roberto Martin, Head of Innovation Laminates at Constantia Flexibles’ plant in Logroño, Spain.

Perpetua Alta can withstand, e.g., hydro-alcoholic gel under accelerated aging conditions, similar to aluminium-containing multi-material laminates compliant with HCR requirements. Compared to a conventional laminate solution, this innovative laminate offers optimal product protection from oxygen, water vapour, and light at a reduced weight and increased yield.

Avient’s additive/colouring solutions to facilitate recycled plastics in packaging

Materials firm Avient Corporation has introduced the PCR Color Prediction Service for polyolefins and PET resins, and the company’s new polyolefin antioxidants, Cesa Nox A4R additives for recycling. These sustainability solutions are specifically designed to improve the customer experience of working with post-consumer recycled (PCR) content for materials used in packaging.

“Avient is fully committed to increasing opportunities to expand the use of recycled polymers, addressing any barriers that arise either during the recycling process or when customers want to incorporate PCR content into existing or new applications,” said Norbert Merklein, vice president and general manager for the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions of Color, Additives and Inks at Avient. "Our Cesa Nox A4R Additives for Recycling, together with the PCR Color Prediction Service, help overcome these roadblocks. These are two new ways Avient is contributing to the circular economy and empowering customers to meet their sustainability goals."

The PCR Color Prediction Service, helps brand owners understand what colours are achievable based on the amount of PCR used. It uses sophisticated technology to determine - through prior color matching - if colours are feasible in a new application that incorporates PCR content. A first of its kind for the plastics industry, this internally developed solution also calculates how much PCR content can be added to an existing application without affecting its signature colour.

Using proprietary software, Avient experts measure resin characteristics to identify the gamut of colours that can be successfully reproduced in a specific PCR-based material. This premium service simplifies and accelerates the selection of preferred colours for polymers with PCR content, avoiding time-consuming trial and error. By speeding the evaluation process, the service also gives greater flexibility to customers that may need to switch from one PCR content source to another, which is especially important due to today’s supply variability.

Avient’s new Cesa Nox A4R Additives for Recycling are based on a special formulation that protects post-consumer polyolefins against oxidation, which can lead to defects like black spots, gels and discolouration. The antioxidant can be added to PCR content early in the recycling process or incorporated in virgin resin to prepare it for future recycling.

Cesa Nox A4R Additives for Recycling are said to deliver excellent value. They use a let-down ratio that is half of what is required for standard antioxidants. Applications for polyolefins stabilised with this additive include packaging, automotive parts and consumer goods.


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