UK flexible packaging manufacturer Skymark has joined forces with European Union (EU) partners to develop new recycling technology for printed films.
The new advanced technology will be used to recycle printed films through removing contaminants and odour, which frequently obstructs the downstream process.
Under the CLIPP+ project, Skymar will work with its partners to develop environmentally friendly recycled polyolefin films, which can be used in non-food packaging applications.
The new technology is being developed to use carbon dioxide as a cleaning and stripping agent in super-critical conditions.
The recycled printed PE film can be used in different primary and secondary packaging applications, including film for wrapping tissue packs.
Since 2015, the company has been actively participating in the Horizon 2020 research project along with Spain-based plastics technology centre AIMPLAS and European machine manufacturer PureLoop.
Skymark has already ordered commercial machine, which is being produced by PureLoop in Austria. It will be installed at the firm’s headquarters in Scunthorpe by the end of this month.
Skymark project manager Alan Heappey said: “Currently, most waste printed plastic packs are considered to be non-recyclable, having a very low added value and their use is limited to low-cost applications, energy recovery and landfill disposal.
“We wanted to create added-value plastics via recycling from post-industrial waste by offering reprocessed PE film that provides optimal mechanical, aesthetic and thermal properties as a substitute for virgin polymers.”
Image: Skymark has collaborated with EU manufacturers to develop new technology that enables printed films to be recycled. Photo: courtesy of Skymark.