The PowerCast XL is a high performance system for the manufacture of stretch films (Image: SML)
PCR in film production
Mechanical engineering Company SML and Braskem, the largest producer of plastics in the Americas and producer of biopolymers, now have entered a cooperation and are using recycled raw materials for film production. The use of PCR (post-consumer recyclates) is supposed to save resources and reduce waste.
Both companies have already been working on joint solutions for producing high quality films for several years. Now, the use of PCR for film production is to make an important contribution to the circular economy. “We have focused our potential and our capacities to produce films of a marketable quality which also contain the amount of PCR requested by brand manufacturers and regulators. At first, a sustainable solution that would not endanger the environment seemed very difficult. After two years of close cooperation with Braskem and untold individual working steps we now are able to offer a high-performance solution that includes PCR and the quality of which meets consumer expectations in every regard”, says Thomas Rauscher, Product Manager Stretch Film at SML. The company is a leading global player both in market power and technology for high end extrusion systems. The new solution is said to be future-proof both concerning raw materials and manufacturing.
What doesn't look exactly spectacular at first sight, Braskem says is in reality a milestone on the road to more sustainability in plastics production. Because until now, a lasting solution for manufacturing film with 30 percent PCR without compromising on quality was seen as a challenge. As film is usually used as packaging, it needs to be very resistant. The film produced by SML machines with a high content of recycled material showed convincing stretchability, resistance to tearing, and mechanical qualities among other things. This is made possible by so-called Wenew DL085C – this raw material lends the product the necessary transparency as well as robustness and flexibility.
“The development of the film together with SML shows how strongly Braskem has improved the quality standards of PCR in the meantime, and what now can be done with it.” “Combining the Wenew product with the total portfolio of Braskem allows for a new quality of products and opens up entirely new perspectives for using recycled materials for many applications”, says Carlos André Silva, Subject Matter Expert at Braskem.
Booster for the principle of circulation
‘Wenew’ is also the name of a completely new brand by Braskem. It is a complete system to speed up transformation of the circular economy, which was presented to the world at this year’s K 2022. Wenew is, for one, a label for products made from recycled materials. But it is also an umbrella brand, encompassing the products, offers and initiatives. The focus is on the development and promotion of products with a large content of recycled material, like for example polymers or chemicals from mechanical or chemical recycling. But Wenew is also a point of accumulation and a platform for presenting products and concepts, as well as for initiatives and partnerships and is to be expanded continuously. One of the goals is to offer appr. 300,000 tons of products containing recyclates – in 2030, the number is to rise to one million tons.
“By focusing all our activity on a central platform, we also give customers, partners and other stakeholders the opportunity to contribute to a circular economy and a new ecosystem.” Wenew makes this topic especially attractive to customers and consumers – and interested people can quickly and easily find all the information they are searching for – or even appropriate offers”, says Alberto Chiozzi, Business Leader for Recycled Products EMEA at Braskem.