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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Introducing recycled content into BOPP films

Innovia Films is a major producer of Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene films (BOPP) and supplies products to the Packaging and Labelling sector from manufacturing sites in Cumbria UK, Belgium, Poland, Mexico and Australia.

To enable a circular economy, it is of vital importance for polymer converters to introduce recycled materials into their products.  Innovia have a series of projects that includes recycled polymer into their films.

Two different technologies are available to turn consumer and industry waste back into PP granules.  Chemically recycled polymer has the advantage that it gives full food compliance and the materials performance is exactly like that of virgin polymer.  Unfortunately, little polymer of this type is currently available, although Innovia has access to quantities of chemically recycled polymer to convert into film now.

Mechanically recycled polymer has the challenge of food compliance.  There are many areas where this is not a problem, such as in tape, labels and non-food packaging applications.  Availability of mechanically recycled polymer of a suitable quality is rare; but collection of flexible film at the curb side will change this.  Accessible ISO 14021 (2016) compliant polymers are starting to become available and there is a clear roadmap to food compliance.

The inclusion of recycled material at 30 percent will enable producers to be exempt from the proposed upcoming taxation, but more importantly will accelerate the move to a more circular economy.

Stephen Langstaff, Packaging Business Manager at Innovia Films, said: “Adding recycled content will reduce the use of virgin polymer and will have a positive impact on carbon reduction and fossil depletion.  We are active in all areas of recycled content inclusion and already have some product available.”


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