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8/22/2018 | 1 MINUTE READ

Update: Technology Tackles Recycling of Flexible PE/Nylon 6 Barrier Food Packaging

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APK looking to partner in expanding its unique recycling process.

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.

Asked if APK has plans to license its process to other companies including in North America, an APK source puts it this way. “APK’s first Newcycling plant will start operations in fourth quarter, and a second plant will follow by the end of 2020. The target is to set up additional Newcycling plants in the future, most likely as joint ventures, but other models are possible. The North American market is also of high interest to APK.” (The 613,500-ft2 plant will be located in Merceberg.)

APK has used this technology to recycle pre- and post- consumer plastic waste and to custom compound Mersalen & Mersamid ReCompounds made of LDPE, HDPE, PP, nylon 6 or combinations for extrusion, blow molding and injection molding. The company and other strategic partners have also been testing Newcycling processing of plastic automotive waste.

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