As world mono-material plastic packaging film consumption is forecast to grow during 2020–25 at an annual average rate of 3.9% to 26.03 million tonnes ($70.9 billion) , AR Packaging is meeting the challenge by launching Ecoflex® - its 100% recyclable mono polyethylene film for thermoforming that provides a sustainable alternative to PA-based materials, whilst fully meeting OPRL guidelines.
Designed primarily as a thermoforming base web, Ecoflex® is formulated with premium PE polymers, offering good puncture resistance, improved tear resistance and it can be used for MAP (modified atmosphere packaging) or vacuum. Offering excellent clarity and printability, the material is perfect for meat, dairy and bakery thermoformed applications and has good recyclability throughout Europe.
Ecoflex® is manufactured at AR Packaging’s Highbridge-UK site. Working closely with customers, the company produces a unique range of flexible barrier packaging solutions and are specialists in extruded, thin multilayer materials. Highbridge’s products are used in both food and non-food industries, where the company ensures a high level of protection for products where material function plays a crucial element, such as a gas barrier or to offer puncture resistance.
“The launch of Ecoflex® provides retailers with their sustainable material of choice,” said Greg Mitchell, technical sales manager, AR Packaging Highbridge. “Instead of a reliance on PA/PE-material for their flexible thermoformed applications, Ecoflex® is a recyclable mono PE film that offers comparative mechanical and impact strength. In the UK, for example, the material can be recycled at front-of-store recycling facilities that allow consumers to return polyolefin-based flexible packaging.”
The Ecoflex® material demonstrates similar or better performance on standard thermoforming and filling lines, with the possibility of reduced temperature settings and thereby energy savings.
AR Packaging’s comprehensive range of thermoformable base webs cover a multitude of applications to meet customers’ exacting needs and can be matched with one of the group’s lidding films for perfect pack integrity and process efficiency. Both base webs and lidding films are approved for food contact and can be combined with convenience features and high quality flexo printing.