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How great can a compatibilizer be?

Date:1/24/2021 8:42:54 PM Hits:1570

Millionsof pounds of multi-material flexible films end up in landfills each year. It’sa waste. It’s a shame. And, it doesn’t need to happen anymore. With thedevelopment of RETAIN™ Polymer Modifier, multi-layer barrier films can berecycled. RETAIN™ improves the optics and re-processability of the recycledfilm. What were once considered hard-to-recycle films can now be recycled in PErecycling streams without compromising the recycled product.


The struggle with barrier film scrap


Until now, it’s been difficult torecycle films containing polar polymers like EVOH and nylon. They do notdisperse well into a polyolefin matrix for recycle/reuse. Previous industryattempts resulted in poor processability and insufficient optical properties –two critical performance requirements for many brand owners andconverters.   


The answer to the barrier film scrapchallenge  


RETAIN™ Polymer Modifier uses innovativerecycle compatibilizer technology developed by Dow. Polar components are coatedand encapsulated and disperse well. With further blending, resulting resinsallow converters to fabricate new “recycled” films without sacrificing physicalor optical properties – and in some cases possibly improve upon them.

  • Gel Reductions – The use of RETAIN™ Polymer Modifier significantly reduces gels in films produced from barrier film recycle streams as compared to other options. 

  • Optical Properties – Using RETAIN™ polymers as compatibilizers in EVOH- and PA-based recycle content has demonstrated the opportunity to achieve the same clarity as the control film. 

  • Physical Properties – Incorporating RETAIN™ polymers as compatibilizers in EVOH- and PA-based recycled content has demonstrated the opportunity to maintain mechanical properties, particularly maintaining or increasing dart values. 


Additional benefits are also possible,including obvious sustainability aspects and considerable cost savings: 


  • PE/EVOH films with RETAIN™ polymer modifier are approved for the How2Recycle logo by SPC

  • Ability to share success with customers/industry 

  • May eliminate or reduce costs associated with collecting, packaging and selling scrap 

  • Opportunity to make better use of recycle stream (versus selling for low value or even paying to dispose of it)  

  • Option to make “post-industrial recycle content” claims 

  • Potential to meet “Zero-Landfill” objectives or "Zero Waste" 


The days of dumpingfilm scrap are over. Let’s discuss how you can retain more value in barrierfilms and promote a circular economy. Our earth will appreciate it. We think you will, too.