How great can a compatibilizer be?
Millions of pounds of multi-material flexible films end up in landfills each year. It’s a waste. It’s a shame. And, it doesn’t need to happen anymore. With the development of RETAIN™ Polymer Modifier, multi-layer barrier films can be recycled. RETAIN™ improves the optics and re-processability of the recycled film. What were once considered hard-to-recycle films can now be recycled in PE recycling streams without compromising the recycled product.
The struggle with barrier film scrap
Until now, it’s been difficult to recycle films containing polar polymers like EVOH and nylon. They do not disperse well into a polyolefin matrix for recycle/reuse. Previous industry attempts resulted in poor processability and insufficient optical properties – two critical performance requirements for many brand owners and converters.
The answer to the barrier film scrap challenge
RETAIN™ Polymer Modifier uses innovative recycle compatibilizer technology developed by Dow. Polar components are coated and encapsulated and disperse well. With further blending, resulting resins allow converters to fabricate new “recycled” films without sacrificing physical or optical properties – and in some cases possibly improve upon them.
- Gel Reductions – The use of RETAIN™ Polymer Modifier significantly reduces gels in films produced from barrier film recycle streams as compared to other options.
- Optical Properties – Using RETAIN™ polymers as compatibilizers in EVOH- and PA-based recycle content has demonstrated the opportunity to achieve the same clarity as the control film.
- Physical Properties – Incorporating RETAIN™ polymers as compatibilizers in EVOH- and PA-based recycled content has demonstrated the opportunity to maintain mechanical properties, particularly maintaining or increasing dart values.
Additional benefits are also possible, including obvious sustainability aspects and considerable cost savings:
- PE/EVOH films with RETAIN™ polymer modifier are approved for the How2Recycle logo by SPC
- Ability to share success with customers/industry
- May eliminate or reduce costs associated with collecting, packaging and selling scrap
- Opportunity to make better use of recycle stream (versus selling for low value or even paying to dispose of it)
- Option to make “post-industrial recycle content” claims
- Potential to meet “Zero-Landfill” objectives or "Zero Waste"
The days of dumping film scrap are over. Let’s discuss how you can retain more value in barrier films and promote a circular economy. Our earth will appreciate it. We think you will, too.