Recyclable Flexible Packaging

Recycling is the hottest topic for sustainability today. In this article we want to talk about recyclable flexible packaging:

  • What is recyclable flexible packaging?
  • What to recycle?
  • Where to recycle?
  • How to recycle?
  • What products can those recyclable flexible packaging made into?

What is recyclable flexible packaging?

Recyclable flexible packaging means the flexible packaging that can be recycled to new products after usage. Such as all kinds of plastic shopping bag, plastic flower sleeves, roll bag, garbage bag, coffee bag, tea bag, snack food bag, daily product bag, pet food bag, food bag, etc. 

Recyclable logo

What to recycle?

There are mainly 2 kinds of flexible packaging:

  • Single layer, such as PE, CPP & BOPP. These films can be made into shopping bags, flower sleeves, roll bag, garbage bag, etc.
  • Multi-layer laminated flexible packaging, normally with high barrier and thicker total film thickness. Such as tea bag, coffee bag, pet food bag, snack bag, daily product bag, food bag, etc.

Normally same material is recyclable. For example, PE bag and PE bag are ok to recycle.

Different material but with similar melting point is recyclable too, such as PE, CPP, and BOPP

But it is very complicated when it comes to the materials with different. It highly depends on what kind of recycling facility you are using, some basic recycling facility can only recycle similar melting point material, but some other facilities can recycles some specific materials with different melting point at certain percentage. But with the development of recycling technology, more and more materials can recycle together. Below is a chart showing recyclable material standard by weight and this is most of recycling facilities can do nowadays.

trash bag

Where to recycle?

Recycle flexible packaging is not easy; it needs professional machines for it. So all the flexible packaging can only be recycled in recycling facilities. Currently many countries are supporting this program, they with deduct tax and even provide funds for the company.

recycling facility

How to recycle?

  • Collect flexible packaging waste
  • Send to recycling facilities
  • Sorting
  • Melting
  • Resin
  • Made into new product

What products can those recyclable flexible packaging made into?

This is very important for recycling; we will need to make sure the products are well accepted in the market so it makes this whole recycling process meaningful.

Currently there are mainly 3 kinds of products made from recyclable flexible packaging

  • For same material or materials with similar melting points, this can be recycled into same material. The new recycled products can be garbage bags, pet waste bags, etc.
  • For different materials it can made into heavy duty plastic products, such as bollards, decking, fencing, desk, signage, stake, wheel stop, etc.
  • Can be use as additive for road infrastructure. This additive is a key ingredient to build high performance roads that can last long and with less maintenance.
garbage bag

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