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Chemical Engineering MagazineChementator Briefs
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Chementator Briefs

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Trash bags Barrier films used in food packaging are difficult to recycle effectively, because they often contain multiple polymers that are not compatible with one another in the mixing steps required for the recycling process. Now, trash bags made from recycled packaging film scraps have been developed through a multi-company collaboration, and were recently used in a shoreline cleanup program to remove marine debris. The collaboration involves the Dow Chemical Co. (Midland, Mich.; www.dow.com), packaging maker Bemis Co. Inc. (Neenah, Wis.; www.bemis.com) and plastics company Polykar (Saint-Laurent, Que.; www.polykar.com). Bemis collected and delivered post-industrial scrap material from a process that produces a food-packaging film made from polyethylene (PE) and ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH). Polykar utilized the packaging scrap as a raw material for making the trash bags. A Dow technology — chemical additives known as Retain — allows the PE-EVOH films to be fed directly into Polykar’s recycling and plastic extrusion lines. Dow initially developed the Retain technology as a proprietary polymer modifier added to PE-EVOH barrier films to make them easier to recycle (Chem. Eng., August 2016, p. 7). In the current process,…
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