US company Dow has launched the first all-polyethylene (PE) recyclable food pouches.
Consumer demand for the stand-up pouches for foods such as nuts has been increasing. But, until now, they have been made from layers of different materials which makes them difficult to recycle.
Dow’s new Retain polymer is the first package of its kind with a barrier film that can be recycled in a PE recycling stream. The pouches retain their multiple layers but PE is the only material used.
When combined with other PE resins, it offers a recyclable product with enhanced barrier characteristics to protect food products.
Stacy Fields, Dow’s North America director of packaging, said: “Working with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and our value chain collaborators was crucial to achieving our breakthrough technology.”
Kelly Cramer, sustainable packaging project manager, said: “This technology is a breakthrough in packaging design for recyclability. It possesses the properties of a multi-layer pouch, but behaves like a pure PE bag in the recycling stream.”
The pouches have been approved by SPC’s recycling programme, and can now be recycled among plastic film and bags at shops across North America.
IIn 2015, collaboration between Dow, SPC and packaging processor Accredo Packaging produced the Seventh Generation brand’s first recyclable dishwasher pods packaging. The company says it was developed in response to customer comments that the product’s previous packaging was not recyclable.