Zotefoams (LON: ZTF), a world leader in cellular materials technology, has today announced a new technology – fully recyclable barrier packaging.
Launching under the brand name ReZorce™, the product is available for licensing to brand owners and packaging materials producers. The full launch, showing sample products across the range of applications, will be at the forthcoming K Trade Fair (Düsseldorf, 16-23 October 2019).
Barrier packaging is widely used for foodstuffs and beverages to prevent the ingress of moisture and/or oxygen, thereby maintaining freshness and integrity; examples include gable top beverage cartons, stand-up pouches and potato crisp packets. However, current barrier packaging is one of the greatest obstacles to achieving a circular economy, since it combines different materials – which might include metallised foils, aluminium, paper and plastic – in the same product. Specialist recycling facilities are typically required and, in many cases, it is not economical to recycle.
By contrast, ReZorce is produced utilising high-density polyethylene (HDPE), which is 100% recyclable via post-consumer streams, including kerbside collection. It can be labelled to that effect, thereby countering the confusion about what can and cannot be recycled, something frequently cited as an underlying cause for recycling rates falling short of targets.*
ReZorce is a multi-layer HDPE film in various gauges that meets industry standards. Foamed layers at its core are critical in providing moisture and oxygen barrier properties, as well as contributing to paper-like feel and fold characteristics, while the surface is compatible with all commonly used printing methods.
Recycled HDPE can be used in the product’s central layers with the package’s internal surface utilising a layer of material compatible with food safety regulations. As governments worldwide seek to mandate the use of recycled material, this is seen as an attractive option for brand owners.
Demand for barrier packaging for foodstuffs, beverage, personal care and household goods continues to grow as the primary method of extending shelf life and reducing waste. According to one estimate**, the global demand for liquid packaging cartons alone is forecast to reach $26.42 billion by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 7.7%.
Zotefoams has committed in excess of USD $1 million to install a pilot line near its MuCell Extrusion laboratories in Massachusetts to accelerate commercial scale product development by licensees. This facility will be available from early 2020 and bookings for trials will begin from later this month.
Commenting on the launch of ReZorceTM David Stirling, Group CEO of Zotefoams plc, said
“We believe there is a large market potential for a fully recyclable barrier packaging, designed with multiple layers that can incorporate recycled material. Our MuCell Extrusion team has done a fantastic job in the development of this product range using commercial scale equipment. It is a wonderful complement to our traditional use of MuCell® technology, which is designed to reduce plastic use in packaging.”
*The UK recycling rate for Waste from Households (WfH; including IBA metal) was 45.7% in 2017, increasing from 45.2% in 2016. There is an EU target for the UK to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2020. Source: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
** Stratistics, Liquid Packaging Cartons – Global Market Outlook (2016-2022), published May 2017