BUERGOFOL GmbH, headquartered in Siegenburg, Lower Bavaria, Germany, a well-known and innovative manufacturer and finisher of films, increases the proportion of recyclate in important APET (amorphous polyethylene terephthalate) – based food packaging films in monofilms to up to 100%. The recyclate comes from post-consumer goods such as bottle flakes. At the Ingolstadt site, it is processed in-house with state-of-the-art recycling systems from EREMA using VACUREMA® technology, which makes the APET recyclate (in contrast to regranulate) a food-compatible R-PET – a property that is a prerequisite for use in the trade.
For the production of thermoformable composite films, BUERGOFOL uses its own high-barrier films and combines these with the APET monofilms with a high recyclate content by means of thermal lamination without the use of an adhesive, which leads to a considerable improvement in recyclability.
Due to the dominant weight of APET films with a high recyclate content, the total recyclate content of composite films and MAP (Modified Atmosphere Packaging) packaging made from these is usually over 70% and higher.
The background for this new initiative by BUERGOFOL is both the European strategy for plastics and the new Packaging Act, which will come into force in Germany on January 1, 2019.
The new Packaging Act in Germany stipulates in §21 that the Dual Systems are obliged to create incentives within the framework of the determination of participation fees in order to promote the use of materials and material combinations in the manufacture of packagings subject to participation in the system which can be recycled as much as possible, taking into account the practice of sorting and recycling (paragraph 1) and to promote the use of recyclates and renewable raw materials (paragraph 2).
Currently, the future direction of the industry sector and trade is heterogenous: while many companies are striving to improve recyclability in accordance with §21 (1) of the Packaging Act, BUERGOFOL GmbH is primarily focusing on increasing the proportion of recyclate in its films in accordance with §21 (2) of the Packaging Act while also emphasizing recyclability. This stems from the fact that without possible applications for recyclate, there is no need or incentive for recycling and no real improvement in recyclability.