PT Blog

We recently reported on a new venture between recycling technology company APK of Merceberg, Germany and Royal DSM, which through DSM Engineering Plastics is a global leader of specialty engineered nylons including basic nylon 6.  The partners aim to address the “End-of-Life” stage of a multilayer PE/nylon 6 food packaging film using APK’s Newcycling process.

Said to be a unique solvent-based physical process, Newcycling makes possible the recovery of high-quality re-granulates with properties close to virgin plastics, from complex mixtures and multi-layer composites (so-called multilayer barrier packaging); something not possible with conventional recycling systems. The re-granulates, generated from multilayer PE/nylon 6 packaging waste, with what is reportedly a highly cost-efficient process, can be used again in demanding flexible packaging.

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There is some exciting recycling innovation happening right now with plastic packaging that previously wasn’t recycled. The Hefty EnergyBag program, launched by Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, Midland, Mich., offers an innovative approach to diverting plastics that are not currently recycled—such as chip bags and juice pouches—from landfills and converting the materials into valuable energy resources.

Jon Pyper, Dow’s North America Associate Director, Sustainability & Advocacy, Packaging & Specialty Plastics shares success stories and long-term goals.

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A pioneer of renewable and sustainable biopolymers for over a decade, with a focus on creating plastic products that are biodegradable and compostable, has gotten a ‘green light’ for its polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) material from University of Georgia (UGA) researchers and members of the UGA New Materials Institute.

PHA from Danimer Scientific has been recognized as an eco-friendly alternative to petrochemical plastics, according the study, which was recently published in Environmental Science & Technology. Researchers found that PHA effectively biodegrades in aerobic or anaerobic environments, such as a landfill, waste treatment facility or the ocean.

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A novel 3D printing process developed by Branch Technology, Chattanooga, Tenn., was used in two recently completed unique projects. The firm, an architectural fabricator with a specialty in large-scale 3D printing, used compounds developed by Techmer PM for both installations—one an outdoor structure of record-breaking proportions in Nashville, Tenn., and the other an indoor hanging garden at Chicago’s Field Museum.

At the technology’s core, as described by Branch, is the Cellular Fabrication (C-FAB) production process, which combines industrial robotics, sophisticated algorithms, and carbon composite materials to freeform print-open cell structures. It is said to be distinctive in that it prints volumes as cellular matrices. The open-cell nature allows for efficient builds and endless dimensional form. For architectural applications, the matrix acts as a framework or scaffold to accept traditional building materials.

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Each year, we report on color trends for the upcoming year from a couple of the major colorant and additive suppliers, such as Americhem, Clariant and PolyOne. This year, Clariant was approached with an interesting challenge by Pel Plastic srl, an Italian company specializing in mold texturing and surface design. Inspired by Clariant’s color trend forecasting tool Pel Plastic asked Clariant to experiment with a radically different approach to product design.

A typical design project typically begins with a product concept and then quickly proceeds to drawings and prototype parts, all before selection of color and texture. Key account sales manager for Pel Plastics Mirella Sala noted that in viewing Clariant’s ColorForward 2019, it saw that the color trend tool is based on research into social trends and how they could influence the way consumers respond to different colors in the future. “This is something we have been doing with textures and the idea of looking at textures and color together—so that one can support and help express the other—seemed like a very interesting project.”

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