Netherlands-based supplier of extrudable tie-layer resins for a variety of high-tech applications, Yparex has announced that it is the first supplier in the packaging industry to develop and commercialize a bio-based adhesive tie layer for multilayer packaging films. The new tie-layer resin is derived from 95% annually renewable resources and is fully recyclable, yet reportedly meets the same performance specifications as non-renewable petroleum-based polymer of the same family, thus providing a drop-in solution for packaging designers seeking to "green" their products.
Developing truly green packaging is a tough call for manufacturers everywhere. And with the packaging industry still debating how best to improve the sustainability of its products, there is still remarkably little consensus on the best way to go. Would that be thinner and lighter? More functionality? Renewably sourced material? Biodegradable or recyclable? All of the above?
"There's a lot of disagreement about how best to make the packaging industry more sustainable," notes Wouter van den Berg, general manager at Yparex. "Some argue for glass, since it's inert and recyclable. Others say paper is better, as it's made of materials that grow back. Still others say lightweight plastics are greenest because they save significant transportation costs and energy, while increasing safety (since they're unbreakable), and extending shelf life (reducing waste). Given the incredible size of the packaging industry, and the breadth of products involved—from food and beverages to car parts to industrial maintenance supplies and consumer electronics—I don't believe there will be one easy answer that solves the sustainability question or a single approach that addresses the needs of all the segments that are involved. As an industry, we need to develop many parallel initiatives to help move packaging to the next level of sustainability. And as a producer of adhesive tie resins, Yparex management decided that the best way we could contribute was by formulating the greenest tie resin we could make."
The new polymer is the first of what the company hopes will become a growing family of bio-based "green" tie-layer grades. The new extrusion grade plant-based resin is said to offer the same performance and properties as an equivalent grade of petroleum-derived resin and is suitable for blown or cast multilayer film structures manufactured using PA and EVOH.
Adds Van den Berg, "We are shipping our first lot of green Yparex Renew resin to an innovative film producer this month for evaluation. We hope the packaging industry responds favorably to this sustainable product offering and, if it does, we promise this will be the first of many more 'green' innovations coming from our company."
Yparex was formerly the adhesive tie-layer business of DSM Engineering Plastics. The company was purchased in February 2011 by Resin (Products & Technology) BV, a Dutch privately held specialty-resin compounder, with a strong focus on developing and commercializing environmentally friendly, specialty thermoplastic compounds.