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Dow Chemical claims plastics recycling breakthrough

United States – Dow Chemical has found a solution for recycling certain types of multi-layer plastic pouch that would otherwise be thrown away. The US company’s so-called RecycleReady technology works for one particular pouch design and is expected to form the basis for a long line of new pouch recycling developments.

With RecycleReady, Dow uses its Retain brand of compatibiliser to enable polyethylene and ethylene vinyl alcohol to be reprocessed together to create a useful recycled film. Until now, this combination of PE and EVOH has presented a problem to recyclers because the barrier layer sandwiched between PE layers essentially gummed up when reprocessed, resulting in holes developing in the recycled PE film.

According to Stacy Fields, director of packaging solutions at Dow Chemical, the new approach is revolutionary. ‘It’s kind of like the Holy Grail,’ she confirms to UK trade magazine Plastics & Rubber Weekly. ‘If we can have everything, have the barrier properties and even have the recycling, that would be awesome. What it does is it serves a lot of different people in the value chain.’

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