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Polyamides and Intermediates

Mechanical recycling of polyamides in multilayer film structures

Polyamides in multilayer films are currently classified as non-recyclable.
Institute cyclos-HTP GmbH has completed the series of tests commissioned by BASF SE to reassess the recyclability of polyamide 6 (PA6) in coextruded polyethylene (PE) / PA6-multilayer film structures in post-consumer packaging waste. The main result: Multilayer films based on PE/PA6 are certified to be recycling compatible for the PE film stream. This was analyzed for PA6 concentrations of up to 30 percent in original packaging films. This result is intended to form the basis for a review of the classification of PA6 in the “Minimum standard for determining the recyclability of packaging subject to system participation pursuant to section 21 (3) VerpackG (Verpackungsgesetz – German Packaging Act)” of the Stiftung Zentrale Stelle Verpackungsregister (Central Agency Packaging Register). 

 

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Why is this topic important?

The singular focus on state-of-the-art mechanical recycling technologies does not consider the benefits provided by polyamides for high-performance and flexible food packaging. Criteria, such as reducing the amount of plastics used, the demand for downgauging and extended shelf life of the packaged foods as significant contributor to securing the food supply for a growing global population and reducing waste of both packaging and food are not recognized appropriately.

 

The benefits of packaging containing polyamides will be sacrificed for the sake of recycling purposes only.

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“Film-to-film” approach for PE/PA waste blends is a real recycling option including manufacturing of  “new” monolayer films:

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