BASF announced JONCRYL HPB 4K, a product series that enables the formulation of heat-sealable liquid polymer barriers that enhance recyclability with resistance properties on par with extruded polyethylene barriers. The series is FDA approved for direct food contact and can be used for food packaging, such as takeout boxes and cups.

The company says JONCRYL HPB 4K-based formulations compete with polyethylene solutions and can be applied in a number of coating processes. “JONCRYL HPB 4K has many of the performance characteristics of extruded polyethylene regarding water, block and crease resistance, with the added value of being readily repulpable and recyclable,” says Simon Foster, industry marketing manager at BASF.

Most facilities are not equipped to separate the polyethylene barrier extruded onto paper containers and consumers attempt to recycle the non-recyclable containers. “JONCRYL HPB 4K products work together in a customer formulation to form a functional barrier applied to the package that does not inhibit the repulpability of that paper and therefore the recovery of fibers in that paper is not inhibited by the addition of this barrier,” says Foster. “The concept of ‘it's made of paper, so it can be recycled’ is more achievable with JONCRYL 4K products.”

According to the company, formulators are looking for high-performance water-based, liquid barriers that are easily recyclable and integrable into operations. Most takeout containers are thrown away due to a polyethylene-based liquid barrier that prevent it from being recycled. Containers and other food packaging account for over 23% of materials that enter U.S. landfills.

“Consumers are becoming more aware about their own environmental impact and are inducing those values onto the products and services they consume,” says Foster. “It's raising the bar for brand owners to be more environmentally-focused, reduce their carbon footprint and enable more circularity and sustainability for packaging.”

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