As manufacturers across sectors look to incorporate post-consumer recycled content (PCR) into their packaging, and reduce CO2 emissions and energy footprints, Dow showcased its REVOLOOP™ recycled plastic polyethylene (PE) resins product portfolio at PACK EXPO in Chicago.
The REVOLOOP resin is designed with 70% PCR, which provides up to 40% recycled content in the final product, Dow reports, while providing similar quality and performance as materials made with virgin resins. Two commercial grades are available for packaging like shrink wrap and stretch.
REVOLOOP resins are the first polyethylene (PE) compounds to achieve certification in accordance with the Standard UNE-EN 15343 for plastics recycling traceability and recycled content by Spain-based AENOR. A 2018 LCA study by the Association of Plastics Recyclers suggested up to 34% reductions in CO2 emissions when using REVOLOOP resins versus virgin polymers, depending on the final application and the percentage of PCR used in the formulation.
“Our customers have consistently asked us for more recycled plastic feedstock for packaging,” said Alex Saba, senior marketing director, packaging & specialty plastics at Dow. At the show, he emphasized Dow’s ambition—not in merely stopping the waste—but to “Transform the Waste in support of our efforts to limit the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills and reduce greenhouse gases.”
Saba added that Dow is positioned to offer supply chain continuity for those looking to incorporate PCR content, with their own compatibilizers, virgin resin supply, and a large footprint of global assets to deliver consistent supply in the formulation needed. With customers looking for resin upgrades without building entirely new lines, Dow is prepared to work with customers and address challenges that companies face as they look to switch to resins that rely less on virgin plastics.
While the company has begun with shrink films, they are also looking at sustainable materials for rigid and food-contacting applications.
Saba also highlighted the company’s Pack Studios, which celebrated its 10th anniversary and expanded capabilities at its flagship location in Freeport, TX. Dow has nine Pack Studios sites worldwide where it engages in in-depth design activities with packaging experts across the value chain—converters, OEMs, brand owners, designers, recyclers, and universities, combining talents to solve packaging challenges. Saba said that streamlining processes to develop more circular and low-carbon solutions are a key focus. While advancements have been in materials output from mechanical recycling, advanced recycling and biobased resins are also a focus.