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Petrochemical company Braskem and plastics-processing machinery manufacturer SML are advancing the circular economy for plastic films with a jointly developed stretch film made from resin that incorporates post-consumer recycled (PCR) content.
Made from Braskem’s Wenew DL085C PCR resin, which is 30% PCR, the new stretch film can be used to unitize loads and protect them during shipping. Applications for the film include beverage pallet wrapping.
In cooperation with SML, Braskem is demonstrating the performance of the new solution at the K show. Production will be on the largest machine at the entire show.
The PCR resin provides the film transparency required by industrial users and meets mechanical strength and elongation requirements for automatic film application in the beverage industry — the incorporation of recycled material does not compromise the film’s performance.
“The stretch film developed together with SML shows how far Braskem has already increased PCR quality and what is already feasible today,” said Carlos André Silva, Braskem subject matter expert, in a prepared statement.
“We can achieve a film with extremely high quality and thus [help] to open completely new perspectives for the use of recycled materials in a wide range of applications,” Silva added.
In recent years, Braskem and SML have partnered to develop high-quality stretch films. They initially found it challenging to produce market-conforming stretch films containing the PCR content required by brand owners and potentially dictated by minimum-recycled-content regulations.
The new stretch film made from Wenew PCR resin hits that mark. “At first it seemed nigh on impossible to find a sustainable and economical solution, especially when it comes to down-gauged products,” said Thomas Rauscher, product manager-stretch film at SML.
“Finally, after two years of very close collaboration, development work, and countless trials together with Braskem, we are now in a position to offer the market a solution to the PCR demand in stretch film production,” he said.
Braskem, headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil, supplies plastic resins and chemical products for a range of industries and applications, including food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, and health/hygiene.
Machinery maker SML is a leader in manufacturing high-end plastic extrusion lines. The company’s machines produce a variety of products, including packaging films, textile yarns, and laminates. Contributing to a circular economy for plastics is a priority for both firms.
In early October 2022, Braskem launched what it calls a circular economy ecosystem under the Wenew brand. The initiative includes Braskem polymers and chemical products that incorporate recycled content, education on conscious consumption and appropriate disposal, and technologies that support Braskem’s circular economy efforts.
The company reports that it has more than 40 grades of PCR resins in its global portfolio and about 42 grades in development. Its circular products include those produced from mechanical recycling and advanced recycling, plus chemicals such as solvents that are produced using Braskem’s traditional processes.
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