Home

Innovative solutions for a circular economy

Successful recycling of printed plastic films and processing of recyclate

  • Cost-effective solutions for a circular economy based on postindustrial waste from printed plastic films
  • High quality recyclates comparable to virgin material
  • Recyclate reuse up to 100% in divers packaging applications
  • Significant improvement of recycling by PU based ink system

PrintCYC is a value chain initiative for the recyling of printed films. Current members are the machine suppliers Brückner Maschinenbau, Kiefel and PackSys Global, the CPP film specialist Profol, the ink manufacturer hubergroup, the converter Constantia Flexibles as well as the recycling technology specialist Erema. The initiative is coordinated by Annett Kaeding-Koppers as independent packaging and sustainability consultant.

The project group has achieved remarkable results regarding the recycling of printed plastic films and processing of recyclate. The need for circular economy solutions for plastic packaging requires the packaging industry to take an active role in ensuring circularity starting from design, following the entire life cycle. Project members joined forces to research and test new ways for creating circular economy solutions based on post-industrial waste from printed plastic films in the most cost-effective manner. Deinking technology was not considered within this project.

Market standard inks for plastic packaging

In phase 1 of the project, PP film and packaging samples containing > 50 % of PP recyclate could successfully be produced. The base material was printed biaxially oriented PP (BOPP) films on nitrocellulose (NC) based ink formulations. Nevertheless, the recyclate quality was not completely satisfying regarding material properties like colour, smell and processability.

PU based ink system makes the difference

Based on these first promising results from phase 1, PrintCYC members strived for further improvement by testing alternative ink formulations for printing on BOPP and Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) films. Switching to a polyurethane (PU) based ink system in flexoprinting in phase 2 resulted in significant improvements of the mechanical recycling process on a production line which is typically used for reprocessing printed film waste materials in practice. Due to high temperature resistance of the inks (Temperature > 240°C), neither volatile by-products, nor odour or gels were observed, leading to a new class of premium quality recyclates, showing colour stable properties. A first environmental impact assessment showed decreased greenhouse gas emissions due to lower energy consumption of mechanical recycling of LDPE films compared to virgin material production.

High quality recyclates comparable to virgin material

The new premium recyclates showed excellent processability for the production of blown films, cast films and even biaxially oriented films which was 100 % comparable to virgin material. Up to 100% recyclate in the inner layer of an three layered ABA film structure could be implemented successfully.

Feasibility demonstration for different packaging formats

The EU Plastics Strategy strives to increase the amount of recyclates in plastic products and packaging. Within the PrintCYC project, the impact of recyclate reuse in different packaging formats was also evaluated. In phase 2 of PrintCYC, packaging formats such as flow packs, trays, yoghurt cups and tubes have been produced, proving usage of rPP and rPE recyclates in processes such as sealing, thermoforming and compression moulding.

PrintCYC initiative

Currently, PrintCYC members are presenting the results to further value chain stakeholders for an exchange of expertise and eventually to win new project partners. Another objective is to use the results for further development of Design for Recycling Guidelines. Next steps on PrintCYC’s sustainability journey towards a circular economy will be defined in the next weeks.

PrintCYC was founded in March 2019. The initiative was launched by a group of companies within the value chain of printed films. The acronym PrintCYC stands for printed polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) films for mechanical recycling.

 

Pic. 1:

Pic. 2:

Profol contact:

Oliver Rüsseler, oruesseler@profol.de

Udo Steinhauer, usteinhauer@profol.de

 

Contact AKK INNOVATION:

Dr. Annett Kaeding-Koppers

annett.kaeding@akk-innovation.de

T +49 8642 5965 290

Documents and Certifications

General

Code of Conduct Profol Group
Language: English
Language: German


Europe

Safety Data Sheet (SDS)

Language: English
Language: German

Profol GmbH

Statement 1907/2006 REACH/SVHC
Language: English
Language: German

Confirmation assessment activities according to ISO 50001:2018
Language: English
Language: German

Profol Greiz GmbH

Statement 1907/2006 REACH/SVHC
Language: English
Language: German

“BRC / IoP” 2020
Language: English

Confirmation assessment activities according to ISO 50001:2018
Language: English
Language: German

Certificate “ISO 9001:2015”
Language: English
Language: German

Profol Harbke GmbH

Statement 1907/2006 REACH/SVHC
Language: English
Language: German

Certificate “ISO 50001:2011”
Language: English
Language: German

Profol Czech s.r.o.

Statement 1907/2006 REACH/SVHC
Language: English
Language: German


Americas

Profol Americas, Inc.

Chemical Resistance Report ANSI/KCMA A161.1
Language: English

SQF Food Safety Code for Manufacture of Food Packaging – Edition 8.1
Language: English


Asia

Guangzhou Profol Films

ISO 9001 IQNet Certificate
Language: English

ISO 9001 CQC Certificate
Language: English

License Food Packaging Film
Language: Chinese

Profol SBB Synthetic Bacon Board® is a Cut Above Traditional Boards

Profol Americas, a global leader in the manufacture of cast polyolefin films, has introduced SBB Synthetic Bacon Board® film to the food packaging marketplace.

The current Covid-19 environment has caused a significant upturn in household meal preparation, resulting in a 12.8 percent increase in bacon sales from last year. Refrigerated bacon accounts for more than $5 billion in sales and more than 1 billion in pounds, with no signs of slowing down.

Today’s packager and consumer are looking for sustainable and user-friendly bacon packaging, two driving forces in the introduction of SBB Synthetic Bacon Board®.

Key SBB Synthetic Bacon Board® attributes versus traditional wax or poly-coated bacon board include:

  • Polypropylene-based and is 100% recyclable in the polypropylene or polyolefin recycle stream
    • Can be separated for recycling using the traditional water bath separation used for polyolefins
  • Does not absorb moisture or bacon fats
  • Remains stiff throughout packaged product distribution and use
  • Withstands High Pressure Process (HPP) sterilization used in turkey, chicken, fish-based, beef and plant-based bacon packaging
  • Can be pigmented any chosen color on one side and white on the other
    • Standard offerings are white/black, yellow/white or white/white board
    • Also available in customer’s corporate color and can be exclusive to that customer if minimum volume is met

“Our track record in the packaging industry offers a solid platform for delivering more sustainable, more highly functional film for this consumer-favorite food item,” states Profol New Business Development Director Mark VanSumeren. “And our U.S. manufacturing facility is certified to meet the Safe Quality Food (SQF) code.”

The Value of SQF Certification in Food Packaging Manufacturing

Having a supplier that produces products to meet food safety standards recognized in the industry is important in today’s packaging world. Retailers, brand owners and food service providers need assurance that the food packaging materials they buy have been produced under the guidance of a food safety management program. Using an SQF certified supplier like Profol Americas offers this assurance.

Profol, a leader in food packaging cast film and sheet, sees SQF certification as an important validation for its food packaging customers. A key component of Profol’s brand promise is to make customers’ jobs easier. Profol strives for continuous improvement and believes that achieving SQF certification offers their partners another level of confidence for receiving safe, quality food-grade packaging film.

What is SQF Certification?

The Safe Quality Food Institute (SQFI) is responsible for developing and managing the Safe Quality Food (SQF) program. SQF is a food safety certification and management program based on sound scientific principles that applies risk-based thinking to control food safety hazards.

Once a company implements the SQF food safety management program, it is audited regularly by a third-party certification body. The food safety certification requirements of SQF provide a meticulous process to manage food safety risks and provide safe products for use by companies in the food industry.

SQF is recognized by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). The SQF codes are written with consideration of the industry, customer and regulatory requirements. SQF certification ensures that an arduous and credible food safety system is in place, which helps facilitate customer confidence.

Why is it important today? 

The SQF program is recognized by retailers, brand owners and food service providers as one of the most rigorous and comprehensive food safety and quality standards in the world. SQF standards require establishment of a detailed, comprehensive food safety program through every step of the supply chain. Being SQF certified lets your customers know that you have gone the extra mile to help them lower their risk and exposure. Brand owners can be confident that their products are packaged in consumer-safe packaging.

What can you expect from an SQF certified supplier?

  1. Reliable Food Safety System – Having an SQF certified supplier means controls are in place assuring you are getting a consistently produced product that is being properly evaluated.
  2. Product Traceability – Processes are in place to trace a product through the entire manufacturing process. Unique lot numbers allow traceability from raw material to the finished product.
  3. Increased Confidence – Brand owners can trust that an SQF certified supplier has implemented a food safety program that ensures compliance and safe, quality food for consumers. The third-party certification body performs regular audits of the system. This fact gives owners the assurance that food safety and sanitation issues will not threaten their brand or reputation.

Providing quality, safe, food packaging products to the industry is of paramount importance today. Using an SQF certified supplier such as Profol provides benefits to brand owners, food service providers and retailers that are immeasurable in today’s environment.

Why not take the guesswork and risk out of your supplier selection? Choose a provider that has earned the right to carry the label – SQF Certified Supplier.

Learn more about polyolefin packaging solutions from Profol

Profol Greiz GmbH receives ISO 9001:2015 certification.

Greiz, Germany (April, 2020) – Profol Greiz GmbH is the first German location of Profol to be successfully certified according to DIN ISO 9001:2015. “This certification represents an important milestone, especially in view of the expansion of our product portfolio to include lightweight composite materials for new customers in the automotive sector,” explained Jörg Dörfel, Plant Manager of Profol Greiz GmbH.

As a manufacturer of food packaging films, the plant in Greiz is already certified with the BRC Global Standard for Food Safety. ISO 9001:2015 underlines the further development of our quality management system. This new certification, which is issued by DEKRA Certification GmbH, applies in Greiz in the production of glass fibre reinforced semi-finished products and the manufacture of flat films for packaging, office supplies and technical applications. The certification was granted by DEKRA March 12, 2020. The Profol team began preparations for this certification at the end of 2018.

The quality management system according to ISO 9001:2015 helps in particular to reduce the effort of the widespread so-called “audit tourism.” For a long time, it was common practice for suppliers to have to prove their quality capability to a large number of customers by means of audits. In many markets, the certificate has now become a barrier to market entry. In the automotive sector, it is indispensable and is part of the uniform standard.

“We see the award of the certificate for our plant in Greiz as a starting point and challenge to establish the quality management system according to ISO 9001:2015 as the new standard in our plants of the Profol Group,” explained Dr. Philipp Schieferdecker, Managing Director of Profol.

About Profol

Profol is a global leader in cast film and sheet and has expanded to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of polyolefin cast films used in an ever-increasing list of commercial products – from flexible packaging to motor vehicles and household furniture. With locations in Europe, the Americas and Asia, Profol operates some of the most advanced cast extrusion facilities in the world. They have more than 500 employees worldwide who produce over 120,000 metric tons of plastic film and sheet products each year.

Profol award winning CPPeel® polypropylene-based peelable lidding helps lower carbon footprint of packaging material.

On behalf of Profol GmbH, ClimatePartner has conducted a cradle-to-customer CO2 comparative calculation of Profol polypropylene-based peelable lidding and traditional aluminum foil peelable lidding. Current dairy product cups, such as yogurt or cream cheese, are typically made of polypropylene. The peelable lidding generally used on these cups is aluminum foil. Profol has developed a polypropylene-based peelable lid to replace foil as part of their CPPeel® family of lidding solutions.

Profol GmbH is the winner of the German Sustainability Award 2020 for this CPPeel film solution, and a leader in the production of high-quality cast polyolefin films. ClimatePartner is a leading solutions provider for corporate climate protection.

We are pleased to provide the results of the study shown in the table below. Profol polypropylene lidding lowers CO2 emissions by 76% versus aluminum foil lids. Get more information about Profol’s sustainable CPPeel lidding technologies or see the full ClimatePartner product carbon footprint report.

Profol is a global leader in cast film and sheet and has expanded to become one of the world’s leading manufacturers of polyolefin cast films used in an ever-increasing list of commercial products – from flexible packaging to motor vehicles and household furniture. With locations in Europe, the Americas and Asia, Profol operates some of the most advanced cast extrusion facilities in the world. Profol has more than 500 employees worldwide who produce over 120,000 metric tons of plastic film and sheet products each year.

Profol actively promotes environmental protection and sustainability by striving to reduce the consumption of raw materials, producing with a minimum of energy (e.g. through heat recovery) and using recyclable materials throughout the production process. Learn more information at profol.com.

Profol-CPPouch-For-Web

Profol adds recyclable pouch to its CPPouch® family of film solutions.

Sustainability continues to drive packaging innovation and simplification. In flexible pouch packaging, there is a push toward highly functional single-material solutions that can be more easily separated and recycled versus multi-material solutions that are prevalent today.

There have been several recent introductions for polyethylene pouch film technology. These products tout the polyethylene pouch as recycle-ready. Though the polyethylene pouch solutions have their place in some packaging, they don’t work well for applications requiring performance attributes that polyethylene can’t meet.

The narrow and mid web packaging format, driven by significant growth in digital printing, has helped lead the way to introducing new stand-up and pillow pouch solutions. With the growth in flexible pouch packaging and advancements of digital printing technology, brand owners are willing to cater to the market trend of individualization, which typically requires shorter print times and multiple label designs for a single product line. Economical, smaller run volumes are one of the key advantages of digital printing. Narrow web converters are realizing that, with a low capital investment, their digital label converting can become package converting.


Profol develops new polypropylene pouch technologies.
To meet market needs, the Profol team worked with collaborative partners to develop two polypropylene CPPouch® solutions that offer differentiated performance attributes versus existing polyethylene solutions.

New, coextruded all-polypropylene pouch wins packaging sustainability award at FachPack 2018. Learn more about this prestigious award »

CPPouch solution: 100% recyclable polypropylene pouch.
Profol introduced a recycle-ready coextruded polypropylene film as part of the CPPouch family of pouch solutions. Besides sustainability, one of the key objectives of this mono-material pouch development was to match the performance of traditional PET/PE laminate in terms of drop test, puncture resistance and moisture barrier.

Among other advantages there is no lamination required, eliminating an additional process step. Printing will be applied on the surface versus reverse print. Profol’s printing partner, Engelhardt Druck, has demonstrated superb color-adhesion such that even ultrasonic welding does not compromise the print along the sealing seam, easing concerns for scratching or other visual defects to the packaging during transportation. Trials carried out by Profol’s pouch converting partner, Widmann, confirmed that the film can be processed very efficiently. In order to expand the markets where this unique new solution can be used, a version suitable for retort applications up to 121°C (250°F) is being developed.

CPPouch solution: Cast polypropylene sealant web for BOPP/CPP polypropylene pouch.
Profol teamed up with ACPO and Inland Packaging to develop this recycle-ready, polypropylene pouch solution. The pouch consists of a reverse printed BOPP film, and a pressure sensitive adhesive-coated cast polypropylene film. An oxygen barrier coating can be added if needed for the application. For proof of concept, Profol produced the cast polypropylene sealant web with a wide sealing window, ACPO applied the pressure sensitive adhesive to the sealant web, and Inland Packaging reverse printed the BOPP and pressure laminated it to the sealant web to form the final pouch.


Polypropylene pouch value proposition.
These collaborative efforts have produced polypropylene pouch solutions that offer excellent functionality and differentiated performance for the narrow web and traditional pouch markets. In addition to improved sustainability and recyclability, the polypropylene pouch offers operational efficiency, low haze and directional tear advantages versus a polyethylene pouch.

To learn more about Profol and our pouch solutions, please contact us.