Green tie-ups: Terphane to produce BOPEF packaging using Origin’s PEF polymer; Japanese firms launch pilot testing of recycling BOPP film

Terphane to produce BOPEF packaging using Origin’s PEF polymer

BOPET producer Terphane, part of Tredegar Corporation, and carbon negative materials firm Origin Materials have announced a strategic partnership to produce sustainable bio-polymer films using Origin Materials’ biobased PEF polymer.

As part of the partnership, Terphane signed a multi-year capacity reservation agreement to purchase the advanced bio-polymer PEF for use in film applications, including food and beverage packaging and high-value industrial applications. BOPEF is biaxially oriented PEF, and BOPET is biaxially oriented PET. These stretched polymer films are valued for their strength, transparency, barrier properties, and electrical insulation.

Origin Materials’ patented technology platform represents a potential breakthrough in the commercialization of cost-competitive and low-carbon PEF. Made from furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA), the primary precursor to PEF, Origin PEF is a polymer with an attractive combination of sustainability and performance characteristics for packaging including enhanced barrier properties. Origin’s PEF is expected to be 100% plant-based, fully recyclable, have attractive unit economics, and to offer a significantly reduced carbon footprint, with superior strength, thermal properties, and barrier properties compared to today’s widely used petroleum-based materials.

According to Marcos Vieira, global director of R&D for Terphane, “The development of this film will be critical to our efforts to meet this new global demand for sustainable flexible packaging solutions. The film is partially made from PEF and has all the traditional properties of a regular PET film, including post-consumption recycling. In addition, PEF provides an excellent thermal resistance and superior barrier performance, extending the shelf life of the packaged products.” Vieira adds that initial tests in the US proved the material works perfectly in extrusion lines.

Since its founding in 1976, Terphane has developed technologies and processes to produce specialty bioriented polyester films (BOPET) and the company is recognised for its vertical integration, from resin to specialty films. Terphane is a global leader in specialty PET films, and a key company in Latin America.

Japanese firms launch pilot testing of recycling BOPP film

Meanwhile in other news, Toppan, Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello and Mitsui Chemicals have announced the launch of pilot testing for horizontally recycling printed BOPP film back into new flexible packaging film.

Through this joint pilot testing initiative, the three companies aim to establish technologies and operational infrastructure for the horizontal recycling of flexible packaging materials, as well as leverage network growth in the flexible packaging materials industry to advance and expand the horizontal recycling of flexible packaging film.

In May 2022, Mitsui Chemicals launched RePLAYER Renewable Plastics Layer System, an initiative that aims to recover film waste from flexible packaging material converters, remove any ink from it and turn the remaining material into pellets and turn those pellets into new flexible packaging film.

Then in December 2022, Toppan, Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello and Mitsui Chemicals began discussing the basis of the joint pilot testing.

Fiscal 2023 now marks the beginning of full-fledged joint pilot testing, with BOPP film waste – generated by Toppan from processes such as printing adjustment – being recovered by Mitsui Chemicals, which also removes the film waste’s printing and converts it into pellets that are in turn made into recycled BOPP film by Mitsui Chemicals Tohcello.

Toppan is also evaluating the recycled BOPP film’s quality, with a particular eye toward its suitability for the likes of printing, lamination, and the creation and filling of flexible pouches.

The lamination process here makes use of eco-friendly adhesive from Mitsui Chemicals.


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