Design for Recycling: Suitable solutions for all relevant aspects

Design for Recycling creates an important prerequisite for packaging to make its contribution to the circular economy in the future. The goal is to obtain more high-quality secondary raw materials through recycling-optimised substrates in order to reuse them to a greater extent.

For the implementation of this iniciative, the German legislation provides for an as yet undefined surcharge on the licence fees of the dual systems. This is expected to take effect in 2023. The commitment of the German retailers hold out the perspective of all own-brand packaging being recyclable from the end of 2022 until 2025 at the latest. To meet these targets, we have developed suitable solutions that allow different priorities for recyclability, machineability and cost-effectiveness.

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Ensuring recyclability

In conventional flexible packaging, materials are often used for performance reasons that lead to recycling incompatibility. The challenge is therefore to replace them without compromising the property profiles, such as product protection. Usually, these laminates have a recyclability between 80 and 90 %. In addition to the German legal requirements, the minimum standards for the labelling of the private label packaging of Lidl & Kaufland can also be fulfilled in this way. We offer these solutions for top and bag film applications with our polyolefin (PO)-based materials. These proven products convince with high process reliability and are also more cost-effective than other design-for-recycling alternatives. Depending on the packaging requirements (barrier, peel or reclose properties), recyclability can be increased up to 90%.

Maximising recyclability

To achieve a recyclability of > 90 %, it is necessary to use single-material solutions made purely of polypropylene or polyethylene. We realise these laminates, colloquially known as "mono", for top and bag films with our PP- and PE-based materials. The criteria of the "ALDI Verpackungsmission" (packaging mission) also require a recyclability of at least 90 %. Depending on the requirements of the packaging (barrier, peel or reclose properties), the value can be increased up to 100 %. In practice, however, the recyclability of common food packaging that is printed, especially pouches, tends to be between 90 and 95 %. The reason for this is that the mass fractions of laminating adhesive, barrier material and printing inks are always deducted in the evaluation.

Made for Recycling

The "Made for Recycling" logo is awarded by the German dual system Interseroh for "demonstrably good or very good recyclable products". The analysis for this runs on the basis of an independent methodology that was developed together with the "bifa Umweltinsitut" (environmental institute) and is also certified by Fraunhofer IVV. Packagings that receive 18 or more points out of a total of 20 possible points according to this evaluation may bear the seal. Our Design for Recycling solutions meet the "Made for Recycling" criteria, as these certificates prove:

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