Siegwerk, Borouge tackle mono-material packaging for circular economy

The goal of this collaboration is to build a pipeline of offerings that addresses the growing demand for sustainable packaging in the market.

Siegwerk has partnered with Borouge, a manufacturer of polyolefins based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, to co-develop 100 percent recyclable mono-material solutions to further drive packaging innovation for a circular economy.

The goal of this collaboration is to build a pipeline of offerings enabling converters worldwide to produce advanced mono-material packaging, addressing the growing demand for sustainable packaging in the market.

Stephane Bertaux, head of brand owner collaboration and circular economy for Southeast Asia at Siegwerk Thailand, said: 'The majority of flexible packaging still consists of mixed materials and because of this multi-material structure, it is challenging to recycle it in the conventional recycling streams.

'The switch to mono-material packaging is an essential lever to ease the recycling of packaging and thus enhance its circularity,' Bertaux added.

However, moving to mono-material structures faces several challenges, from ensuring reliable sealability or thermal stability to achieving specific levels of barrier performance depending on the end-use application. 

Anton Wolfsberger, vice president, global marketing, packaging and circular economy, Borouge, said: 'Enabling mono-material structures using Borouge’s performance polyethylene products with the combination of innovative ink and coating technologies can achieve the desired packaging outcomes. With this new way of industry collaboration, we contribute to addressing global challenges to increase sustainability and circularity.

'Upcycling is becoming possible through mechanical recycling, resulting in high quality recyclates to further boost circularity and lower carbon footprint versus currently used multi-material packaging, which are mostly incinerated,' Wolfsberger added.

One of the first projects under the partnership will be a barrier stand-up pouch using Borealis Borstar technology-based enhanced HDPE FB5600 from Borouge and Siegwerk’s oxygen barrier coating CIRKIT OxyBar BC1582, as well as its primer solution CIRKIT Clearprime for a smooth deinking of the laminates.

'By incorporating our special deinking and delamination primer into this innovative mono-material structure with superior performance and mechanical properties, all used inks and coatings can be removed of the printed film during the recycling process resulting in high-quality recycled polyethylene that is suitable for re-use in new packaging materials,' Bertaux said.

In addition, Siegwerk and Borouge are already collaborating with select converters worldwide to make solutions available to produce high barrier mono-material packaging combining oxygen (Oxygen Transmission Rate OTR < 1 cc/ and Moisture Vapor Transmission Rate (MVTR) barrier coatings (MWTR < 1 cc/

Both companies are committed to contributing to sustainable and future-oriented packaging through enabling mono-material structures that can replace the current hard-to-recycle multi-material packaging structures.