With the packaging industry shifting towards simplification – from multilayer to monolayer structures and toward Polyolefin-only substrates, there have been some promising innovations in recyclability. In many respects, flexible packaging has a smaller environmental footprint compared to alternative packaging formats due to its light weight and resource efficiency. Until recently, these benefits have made post-consumer flexibles less financially compelling to collect and recycle when compared to heavier packaging alternatives. But the tide is changing, often led by consumers keen to contribute their part to creating a more sustainable world. Leading mainstream supermarkets are also playing their part by setting up front-of-store collection points for flexible packaging previously considered unrecyclable.
Krehalon has launched its range of readily recyclable high barrier flexible films for fresh food applications to meet the request for more sustainable packaging options.
KreCycle™ does not compromise shelf-life expectations or sealing performance. It is ideally suited for packaging fresh protein – red meat, poultry, processed meat, seafood, and hard cheese. Products include flexible thermoforming films, flowrap films including a high barrier option, lidding films, and vacuum pouches.
The KreCycle™ range includes polyester (PET), polyethylene (PE) and Polypropylene (PP) based products that offer tailored barrier properties to suit specific application needs. There are also lock and peel seal options for consumer convenience. The development of these structures is based on CEFLEX Design for a Circular Economy (D4ACE) Guidelines where it is advised that EVOH barrier in PO-based structures should be no more than 5% of total weight. As such, KreCycle™ can be used as a recyclable replacement to non-recyclable multilayer structures such as PA/PE, PA/EVOH/PE, PET/EVOH/PE and OPA/PE.
Furthermore, the KreCycle™ PE range has been certified by Cyclos and is suitable for Front-of-Store collection. This range includes a high-quality paper-feel print option offering a recyclable paper-look alternative to non-recyclable, hard-to-separate-paper/plastic laminates.
Successful trials and commercial orders are already in place for thermoform, flowrap and pouch applications for packing of sausage, cheese, mince and bacon.
The sustainability discussion is multi-faceted and complex. Since 2018, Krehalon is an active member of CEFLEX, UK Plastics Pact and RECOUP. As such, Krehalon is keen to continue contributing to the reduction of both food and plastic waste and to progress in its own sustainability goal to develop products that feature exceptional environmental efficiency with little or no compromise on performance.