Looking beyond the production of raw materials, Ineos Olefins & Polymers Europe has now announced a multi-million Euro investment in a new blown film line. The inline MDO-multilayer line from Hosokawa Alpine will enable the company to work with converters, brands and retailers to develop what it says will be simpler, more recyclable flexible packaging film.
Today’s flexible packaging films offer a host of advantages in terms of cost and performance. However, their structure makes them inherently difficult to recycle: consisting of multiple layers of different materials, these films therefore tend to end up in landfill or being incinerated. Reducing the number of polymers used to produce these packaging films will not only enhance their recyclability but also help to prevent around one million tonnes of waste from being sent to landfill each year, said Ineos.
Ineos will therefore work with its partners to develop, design and produce mono-material, polyethylene and polypropylene-based flexible packaging film on the new line, putting its expertise in resin design to work on new generations of resins specially engineered for their flexible packaging products.
The new line will be installed at the company's R&D labs in Brussels, Belgium, in 2023. It comes complete with MDO technology, in which the films are heated and stretched to improve their physical and barrier properties, which enables them to be used in different product applications.
Flexible packaging films keep our food fresh and safe to eat, but we recognise and share people’s concerns about plastic waste,” said Rob Ingram, Chief Executive, INEOS O&P Europe North. “This investment is further evidence of our commitment to taking action across the value chain to create a more sustainable future.”
Earlier examples of this commitment include Building Project One, the most environmentally sustainable cracker in Europe and claimed to be largest investment in the European chemical sector in a generation; numerous recycling investments and the development of the Recycl-IN family of materials. Ineos is also conducting a feasibility study into the construction of a 100-megawatt water electrolysis plant for producing green hydrogen at its site in Cologne, which could cut CO2 by more than 100,000 tonnes per year, he said.