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11-04-2019

PE Film Technology Is Consistent with Recycling

EcoLam High Plus Tested by RecyClass

The findings of an independent laboratory testing of EcoLam High Plus technology show it is consistent with recycling. It improves the recyclability of the current, widely available technologies for functional barriers used in PE films. This innovative structure is a mono polyethylene (PE) laminate that is applicable in a broad variety of packaging applications ranging from dried soups to coffee and its high barrier needs.

EcoLam High Plus’ contains a functional barrier that combines ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) and aluminum metallization which at the same time is below 2% of the total film weight. This barrier is used for preserving goods from exposure to water vapor and oxygen, mineral oil migration and aroma losses.

Specific Conditions Are Necessary

According to the results of an independent laboratory, carried out as per the RecyClass Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for PE films, this new technology conforms to the current European PE film recycling stream provided it is used under specific conditions. These include

  • the density of the printed film cannot exceed 1 g/cm 3,
  • printing technology that is applied must be compatible with RecyClass design for recycling guidelines,
  • the ‘EcoLam HighPlus’ cannot exceed 10% of the whole European LDPE flexible film market share.

These results will be used also to update and enhance the RecyClass ‘Design for Recycling Guidelines’ which are one of the components serving as guidance for the recyclability evaluation. Currently, other technologies are being tested which will be accordingly, subject to the technology approval by RecyClass.

Improving the Circularity of Plastics

Most commonly used oxygen and water & vapour film barriers put on the European market nowadays have a detrimental impact on the recyclability of PE films which implies that a product has significant design issues affecting its recyclability. Whereas EcoLam High Plus is graded as “conditional” as it proves to advance quality recycling. As a result, it is relevant for high-value applications.

As polyethylene film is commonly used in the packaging sector, these findings contribute to the constructive developments within the design for recycling discussion and, more broadly, working towards improving the circularity of plastics.

Additional information
Company profile

Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) c/o EuPR

Avenue de Cortenbergh 71
BE 1000 Brüssel
Tel.: +32 2 7429682

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