Dow packaging adhesives receive RecyClass approval for mechanical recycling in European markets
- RecyClass approval opens the way for packaging converters and brand owners to improve recyclability of laminated flexible PE-based packaging.
- Approved solvent-free MOR-FREE™ and water-borne ROBOND™ adhesive systems to be added to REVOLOOP™ technology platform from Dow.
HORGEN, Switzerland – December 5, 2022 – Two Dow adhesive systems commonly used for a broad range of polyethylene (PE) film packaging applications have been approved as compatible for mechanical recycling following a rigorous scientific evaluation by the non-profit, cross-industry initiative RecyClass. The approval covers solvent-free MOR-FREE™ L 75-300/ CR88-300 and water-borne ROBOND™ L-350/ CR-3 lamination adhesives1, which will add an adhesive component to the REVOLOOP™ technology platform from Dow.
RecyClass assessments follow rigorous scientific protocols to present a comprehensive evaluation of the recyclability of plastic packaging. The assessments consider all criteria needed for a closed-loop value chain, looking at most used technologies of sorting and recycling infrastructures used in Europe. This verifies that packaging is compatible with recycling or can be effectively recycled.
Dow customers can benefit from this external validation as they apply these adhesives in their mono-material laminated packaging designs. Value chain partners already using these well-established adhesive systems can now have an additional favorable datapoint when designing packaging for recyclability. Using these adhesives requires no changes to existing production processes, nor additional staff training, nor retooling of equipment.
“Innovation is key in furthering the circularity of plastics, but at the same time it is essential to ensure that these new packaging technologies comply with existing recycling systems. This is exactly what the RecyClass Recyclability Approval awarded to Dow’s technologies proves,” commented Fabrizio di Gregorio, Technical Director at Plastics Recyclers Europe. “We are delighted to work with companies like Dow and strive to support companies in implementing recyclability principles into the core of their strategic decisions.”
“Sustainability is front and center of our innovation strategy and the main focus for our industry,” said Izzat Midani, adhesives marketing manager at Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics EMEA. “I am very proud that two different technologies in our laminating adhesives portfolio have been approved for mechanical recycling by RecyClass. This enables our customers and brand owners to reach a wider scope of applications and performance requirements while facilitating packaging recyclability, which will be crucial as they strive to achieving ambitious sustainability targets.”
Addressing a key challenge in flexible packaging recycling
Victor Lebedev, associate scientist for adhesives at Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics, added: “The recyclability of laminating adhesives is essential in flexible packaging recycling. At Dow, we have been working intensively to develop internal testing methodologies at our Pack Studios in Tarragona, Spain and Mozzate, Italy, to assess the possibility of recycling laminated mono-material structures and to mimic the commonly used coating weight of the adhesive. We are pleased that the independent third-party Recyclability Approval from RecyClass confirms our initial positive results.”
This first European approval for Dow’s adhesives products follows last year’s Critical Guidance Recognitions in the US for three product categories that meet the recyclability protocols of the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR), in which ROBOND™ adhesives, OPULUX™ optical finishes, and SURLYN™ ionomers from Dow were each recognized for solving packaging design challenges.
The RecyClass Recyclability Approval is yet another important achievement towards Dow’s global sustainability targets. These targets align with the European recyclability targets, such as the EU’s Circular Plastics Alliance, the European Commission’s Plastics Strategy and Circular Economy Action Plan. For example, Dow has committed, by 2035, to close the loop by enabling 100% of Dow products sold into packaging applications globally to be reusable or recyclable. Redesigning today’s multi-material structures into mono-PE ones will allow to enhance recyclability and increase recycling rates. Technologies such as machine direction and bi-axial orientation processes, barrier incorporation and PE-rich thermoforming play a crucial role to accelerate that trajectory.
The approved adhesives will be added into the REVOLOOP™ technology platform from Dow which is set up to help enable high-quality mechanical recycling through various product offerings in post-consumer recycled resins (PCR), and now also including adhesives, that are engineered to deliver exceptional performance for customers.
About Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics
Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP), a business unit of Dow (NYSE: DOW), combines core strengths of R&D, worldwide reach, broad product lines and industry expertise to deliver high performing technologies for end use markets in food packaging, personal hygiene, infrastructure, consumer goods and transportation. P&SP is one of the world’s largest producers of polyethylene resins, functional polymers, and adhesives, and enabled by Pack Studios, is a leading innovator and collaborator across the value chain on sustainable application development and circular economy life-cycle design for plastics. www.dowpackaging.com
Dow (NYSE: DOW) combines global breadth; asset integration and scale; focused innovation and materials science expertise; leading business positions; and environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership to achieve profitable growth and deliver a sustainable future. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive, and sustainable materials science company in the world. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings, and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated, science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer applications. Dow operates 104 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people. Dow delivered sales of approximately $55 billion in 2021. References to Dow or the Company mean Dow Inc. and its subsidiaries. For more information, please visit www.dow.com or follow @DowNewsroom on Twitter.
For further information, please contact:
Uta Ü nal
Dow Europe GmbH
+41 44 728 3671
+32 49 97 303 96
1 More information about the tested technologies can be found in the RecyClass Recyclability Approval Letters