Saica Flex, the flexible packaging division of Saica Group, has developed a new range of ready-for-recycling monomaterial pouch laminates that offers for the first time the possibility of using over 50% recycled materials in its production for non-food contact applications. This development represents a new step in Saica group’s goal of supporting the circular economy goals within the flexible plastic packaging sector.
The new pouch laminate is 100% based on PE and therefore is monomaterial and designed to be recycled according to CEFLEX and PRE (Plastics Recyclers Europe) guidelines. The new mono-PE laminate for pouches enlarges the Saica Flex Monoflex range of monomaterial ready-for-recycling solutions are for both food contact and non-food contact applications.
The solution has been already tested successfully in pouch form-fill-seal lines for detergent monodoses and is currently being adapted and tested for other Home & Personal Care and Dry Food applications. The new laminate has not required any modifications at the customer’s filling line, and has allowed to achieve similar results in terms of packaging performance and filling speed than conventional unrecyclable multimaterial solutions, including the use of reseal zippers and laser scoring for easy-opening.
In the case of Non-food applications, Saica Flex customers, have the possibility of producing mono-PE laminates using over 50% of PCR material. This development represents the first monomaterial ready-for-recycling pouch where virgin resin has been successfully replaced by recycled resin in a rate above 50% of the total weight of the pack, making another step towards the circularity of flexible plastic packaging.
The recycled PE resin is produced by Saica Natur, the business division of Saica Group in charge of waste management and environmental services; allowing full traceability and process control within the group. The Natur Cycle Plus plant in El Burgo de Ebro (Spain) produces high quality recycled low density polyethylene resin (rLDPE) allowing the production of new primary packaging. Production capacity has doubled in 2020 reaching 25.000 tons per year. Natur Cycle Plus resin is certified by EuCertPlast as 100% post-consumption recycled.
The new laminate enlarges Saica Flex’ Greenheart portfolio of flexible packaging solutions with PCR content and allows Saica Flex customers to make progress towards meeting their sustainability goals. This new product fulfils the new regulatory changes and new taxation on plastics being introduced in different EU countries, which incentivises recyclable solutions with a minimum of 30% recycled content.