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INEOS Becomes First Polymer Producer with Technology for Developing Recyclable Flexible Films

INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe's multilayer, blown film line set to replace hard-to-recycle, multi-material packaging films and prevent a million tons of waste in landfills each year.

Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe

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INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe has become the first polymer producer in the world to successfully commission a new pilot line that it will use with customers to co-develop recyclable flexible packaging films. The multi-million Euro investment could help to prevent around one million tons of waste from being sent to landfill each year.

The new multilayer, blown film line with Machine Direction Orientation (MDO) has been installed at INEOS’ R&D centre in Brussels, Belgium. It enables customers to carry out full-scale tests without losing production capacity on their own lines. The first collaboration projects are already under way, developing new films that can be applied directly to customer production lines.

Flexible films provide lightweight, low emission packaging for transporting goods, increasing the shelf life of food products. However, today’s multi-material packaging films combine different polymers, each performing different functions, but which in combination make the film difficult to recycle. Making simpler films with the same performance means the new packaging can be more easily recycled, to meet the requirements of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation.

Rob Ingram, CEO, INEOS Olefins & Polymers Europe, said, “Flexible packaging films play a valuable role in society, but we recognize and share people’s concerns about plastic waste. Every day we work alongside stakeholders across the value chain who share our commitment to a circular economy, developing more sustainable solutions to consumers’ needs. Fully recyclable films are a big development and I’m excited about the possibilities created by our investment in this new MDO line.”

The state-of-the-art technology, supplied by Hosokawa Alpine, heats and stretches polymer films to improve their physical and barrier properties, enabling them to be used in different product applications.

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