Two pharmaceutical tubes manufactured by Swiss packaging specialist Neopac have now been deemed fully compatible with the current European HDPE recycling stream, the company reports.
Both the Polyfoil Mono-Material-Barrier (MMB) Tube PF542/642 and Polyfoil MMB Tube PF525/623 underwent independent testing by IKTR lab, as per the RecyClass HDPE Recyclability, and both were approved.
RecyClass is a comprehensive cross-industry initiative aimed at promoting plastic packaging recyclability and establishing a harmonised approach towards recycled content calculation and traceability in Europe.
The HDPE Polyfoil MMB Tube PF542/642, a laminated barrier tube incorporating final printing artwork and featuring a PE based mono-directional-oriented (MDO) barrier film in the centre of the body structure, and a separate EVOH barrier in the internal HDPE-based foil.The tube was tested without the closure system. No adverse impacts were found on the recycling process, given the defined conditions.
Next, to evaluate the impact of the final product, Neopac tested the Polyfoil MMB Tube PF542/642, including the final printing and HDPE cap. Neopac’s closure system exhibited good compatibility with recycling, under specific conditions.
Finally, the Polyfoil MMB Tube PF525/623, composed of a PE based metallized MDO barrier film in the centre of the body structure, and a separate EVOH barrier layer in the internal HDPE based foil, was also shown to be fully compatible with HDPE recycling, under specific conditions.
These tubes were the first instance in which both the compatibility with recycling of adhesive lamination and MDO barrier technology in a tube body structure were assessed as well as the suitability of HDPE caps for blow moulding applications. The recyclates generated were fit for use in the manufacture of high-quality products, such as HDPE bottles, replacing up to 25% of virgin material.
Testing the use of polyethylene caps is a significant step forward for the packaging industry as it opens the door for replacing the PP caps currently used by HDPE, which would considerably decrease the quantity of polypropylene in the HDPE recycling stream. This would boost the quality of the final recycled plastics, contributing to the uptake of design for recycling principles in the manufacturing of plastic packaging and to the achievement of the European recycling targets.