A barrier solution that ‘alleviates concerns about multilayered packaging’ has now been officially recognized by both the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) in the US and Plastics Recyclers Europe (PRE) as fully recyclable.
Inhance Technologies, an international provider of sustainable polymer materials science solutions, has developed Enkase, a solution that transforms high-density polyethylene containers into high performance barrier packaging.
Current barrier technologies may disrupt recycling of HDPE bottles. This technology consists of a fluorination coating system, using elemental fluorine to enhance the properties of HDPE for hydrocarbon barrier packaging.
According to the company, Enkase provides a permanent barrier that can be applied to HDPE containers regardless of their shape, size or design. The technology protects the product integrity by reducing ingredient loss and increasing shelf life and quality, while maintaining recyclability. The barrier solution meets critical guidance requirements and is in accordance with existing recycling streams for plastic packaging.
Laboratory tests, carrried out as per the APR HDPE Critical Guidance and Application Guidance, showed that this new technology conforms to the current European HDPE bottles recycling stream provided it is used under specific conditions. These conditions relate to the whole system of such a container, which needs to conform to the RecyClass Design for Recycling Guidelines developed by PRE for HDPE containers. However, Inhance Technologies’ Enkase system was deemed to pose no recyclability issues and to advance quality recycling.
As a result, it is relevant for high-value applications and will moreover be used as an input for updating PRE’s RecyClass ‘Design for Recycling Guidelines’ as well as the RecyClass online tool for evaluating recyclability.
The designation from APR and PRE means Inhance Technologies’ process can be used in place of most other applications in barrier packaging where the environmental impact is of concern to consumers, retailers and brand owners.
“We have done significant work optimizing our manufacturing processes eliminating process waste, water waste, and emissions,” said Dr. Prakash Iyer, senior vice president, Business Development and Technology.
“The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of Enkase is the lowest of all competing plastic barrier technologies, confirmed by life cycle assessments. We can deliver this technology on a stand-alone basis or embed it in existing infrastructure to produce packaging all over the world."