Is BOPP flexible packaging recyclable?
Under optimal conditions, yes. But a major obstacle to the recyclability of BOPP flexible plastic packaging is polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC). This coating is widely used on BOPP flexible packaging, but it’s considered a contaminant in most well-established packaging recycling streams, such as polypropylene (PP). This is because it lowers the quality of the BOPP recyclate.
PVdC degrades at low temperatures and causes transparent BOPP packaging to turn yellow, rendering large portions of the mainstream polymer unusable. PVdC coatings also have the potential to produce hydrochloric acid when recycled, potentially damaging equipment and causing other industrial hygiene risks. These factors discourage recyclers from accepting BOPP flexible packaging coated with PVdC. And when PVdC is incinerated, it releases carcinogenic dioxins.
But there is a solution …
Uradil® FP-9300 paves the way toward improved recyclability for flexible BOPP packaging films. It provides the same heat sealability, aesthetic properties, and alcohol resistance as PVdC, but without the need to include undesirable substances in the formulation.
Choosing Uradil® FP-9300 instead of PVdC increases the overall recycling value of BOPP flexible plastic packaging, creating new business opportunities for packaging manufacturers and helping brands support greater packaging circularity.
Matching the flexibility of your packaging requirementsUradil® FP-9300 is suitable for use in the following packaging categories:
Putting Uradil® FP-9300 to the test
To ensure that the packaging does not degrade upon contact with sterilization alcohols or those found in perfumes and other cosmetics, we test the coating’s resistance to three kinds of alcohol: isopropanol, ethanol, and methanol, combined with distilled water. Uradil® FP-9300 gives BOPP flexible plastic packaging excellent resistance to sterilization alcohol.
The heat sealability of plastic films is assessed by defining a heat seal window. To ensure an effective heat seal, we test the following properties:
The minimum temperature needed for a proper seal at given times and pressures. Normally expressed in °C.
The maximum and minimum temperatures between which proper seals can be formed on packaging.
This test is used to determine the reaction of the coated substrate to the application of heat and pressure to ensure that the printed material on the BOPP flexible packaging does not smudge during normal processing and use.
Why we carry out a rub resistance test
Most packaging must be varnished after printing to ensure the print is rub-resistant. Blue and green inks, for instance, can easily rub off if the packaging is not varnished. Rubbing tests determine to what extent a coating protects the print from becoming marked, scuffed, or smudged when it rubs against surfaces such as metal or plastic.
Rubbing can happen on conveyors and during processing on gluers, packaging machines, and machines used in print finishing. It can also occur in surface-to-surface contact during conversion, distribution, shipping, and storage. Wet rub resistance is especially important where printed and varnished surfaces may come into contact with water or condensed moisture (e.g., packaging for frozen and chilled foods).
“Uradil® FP-9300 is an important milestone on our journey toward enabling a circular economy for flexible packaging. With increased scrutiny around recyclability in this category, Uradil® FP-9300 offers packaging manufacturers a unique opportunity to help brand owners pursue their circularity commitments. This, in turn, creates new opportunities for sustainability messaging around improved recyclability and reducing undesirable substances in the formulation.”
- Recyclable: Uradil® FP-9300 is recyclable with its BOPP packaging substrate, allowing it to maintain full transparency for greater recycling value.
- High-performance: The same alcohol resistance and heat sealability properties as PVdC coating.
- Safer: Avoids damage to recycling equipment and release of dioxins.
- More efficient: Same alcohol resistance and heat sealability as PVdC with ⅓ of the coat weight.
- More circular: Enables packaging producers to align with circular initiatives such as CEFLEX.