The traditional "take, make and dispose” extractive industrial model is fast becoming obsolete, being replaced with the concept of a restorative and regenerative circular economy. Using system-wide innovation, the circular economy aims to redefine products and services to design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use longer, and regenerate natural systems. It is underpinned by a transition to renewable energy sources, and seeks to build economic, natural and social capital.
PET, the most widely recycled plastic in the world, is at the forefront of this move to sustainability. PET offers convenience, quality and has sustainable credentials such as lower carbon footprint, LCA, food waste reduction – not to mention being highly recyclable.Its properties allow for superior innovation, both in terms of package design and performance, allowing manufacturers to meet customer needs for new and sophisticated product profiles with shelf-popping options.
There is a growing trend in the collection of PET materials for specific recycling activities. Nonetheless, more work must be done. Besides separate collection and proper sorting various PET packaging products, design for recycling is a major tool that can help boost their circularity.
At Sukano, we remain at the forefront of this journey. It is aligned with the core pillars that have defined the success of the company over the past 30 years: pioneering ideas combined with technical expertise. Now, the company is ready to launch a global campaign to lead the #wearepartofthesolution platform to deliver improved social standards demanded by consumers and society via proven scientific performance and technology.
After collection, postconsumer PET is purchased by reclaimers who wash, grind and further process PET containers to produce a recycled resin ready for reuse in a variety of end products. For a long time, the reuse of PET was limited to applications like fibers, because for the production of high-quality packaging or bottles, the melt strength was not sufficient due to the molecular weight reduction after recycling. PET recycling shortens polymer chains and therefore makes processing more difficult.
Thanks to SUKANO® Melt Enhancer Masterbatches, however, you can upcycle instead of just recycle. This masterbatch ensures uniform cell structure, improving mechanical performance and processing stability enabling the use of recycled PET in bottles or trays packaging. Since different end applications require different product performances – and processing technology is not uniform at every industrial center – our specialists can help develop the most accurate and appropriate reactive chemistry to allow you enjoy the greatest value over benefit ratio.
Increasing RPET content
As demand for RPET grows, bale quality is proportionally decreasing. The lack of bale standardization also does not help, as it decreases recyclers yields even further. To complicate matters further, brand owners have set up their own individual corporate goals for recycling content in its packaging, providing convertors and the plastics value chain players with an additional hurdle to overcome.
Sukano has developed masterbatches to help counteract this. SUKANO® Anti-yellowing Masterbatch neutralizes the visual effects of heat history and impurities from contaminated, low quality bales and recycled PET, improving optical clarity and appearance, allowing use of RPET content to increase.
Another option is to add a selected SUKANO® Impact Modifier Masterbatch. These masterbatches enable producers to include a higher dosage of RPET in the core layer of the end application, while maintaining (or even improving) the cost base and film performance.
Pioneering work in silicon free denesting
Sukano pioneered a state-of-the-art slip/antiblock masterbatch for PET to reduce the coefficient of friction (COF) of films and cut sheets. This allows deep drawn applications to demold and denest much more easily, films have less tendency to stick during winding an unwinding, and thermoformed parts are destacked without surface abrasion. Beyond that, the masterbatch helps improve processing, printability and transparency.
Sukano high-performance processing aids
Unlike PET, RPET material can be tricky to run at its original productivity and performance. With a deep understanding of our customers’ set up and machinability, Sukano has designed processing aid masterbatches that allow you to enjoy the original cycle times and productivity that is the hallmark of PET.
Make your product fly high
Black may be the absence of visible light, but that should not make it undetectable. In fact, black and any other color can – and should – be detected by sorting equipment. After stringently following EPBP (European PET bottle platform - https://www.epbp.org/) design guidelines, Sukano successfully submitted a black masterbatch portfolio to the sorting machine technology leaders in France to certify our portfolio for detectability. We are happy to share the results with you. Contact us for all the details you may need.
Sukano combi mix
Imagine a world where only “one single type of plastic” exists and they can all be mixed up for future plastics articles manufacture. This is actually achievable today – Sukano can help you #designforrecyclability as #wearepartofthesolution. Let us know which polymers are being wasted or still do not have an ideal end of life, and we will offer you technical suggestions to reuse them, ensuring no leakage from the plastics industry value chain.
The plastics industry is deeply committed to Circular Economy goals and challenges, and has therefore continued work to address different issues related to the production, consumption and end-of-life management of plastics. This led to the development of the Plastics 2030 Voluntary Commitment. The Commitment sets out a series of ambitious targets to meet by 2030 and outlines future initiatives that will be undertaken by the industry in partnership with others focusing on three key areas: increasing re-use and recycling, preventing plastics leakage into the environment, and accelerating resource efficiency. In general, prevention, re-use, collection and recycling should always be the first choice.
The current challenges faced by the plastic industry present a complex challenge in which everyone must do their part. Circular thinking is everyone’s duty, and achieving the goals of a circular economy will require commitment from all parties to responsible use, recover and re-use. Let’s be part of the solution together. Sukano is ready to help as #wearepartofthesolution
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