Chemistry, Materials & Packaging
Dow, Avery Dennison Wrap Up Latest Innovations in Renewable, Recyclable Packaging

An award-winning stand-up pouch from The Dow Chemical Company will now be used to hold packs of Seventh Generation’s natural dishwashing detergent. Dow’s new recyclable Polyethylene (PE) Stand-Up Pouch, which won an R&D 100 Award this year, will feature the Sustainable Packaging Coalition’s (SPC) How2Recycle label. The label is already being used to clarify what types of packaging can be recycled — and how — on products from brands including Plum Organics, Kellogg, McDonald’s and Nestlé. Dow is a founding member of the SPC.

“We are excited about our work with the SPC on the How2Recycle Label program because it enables us to communicate and educate the consumer about the pouches’ recyclability. This kind of collaboration is important to achieve the environmental vision for packaging that we all share,” said Greg Jozwiak, North America commercial VP for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.

Seventh Gen’s powder dishwashing formula is contained in a biodegradable polymer (polyvinyl alcohol [PVA]) packaging that dissolves in the dishwasher. However, the resealable packaging that holds the pods is recyclable for less than 20 percent of the U.S. population, based on local recycling capabilities and contamination risk. The PE Stand-Up Pouch will include the How2Recycle “Store Drop-Off” label which encourages consumers to take flexible plastic bags, films and wraps to local grocery or retail stores for recycling. The pouches can be recycled at more than 18,000 store drop-off locations throughout North America.

“Our goal was to produce a recyclable package for our Dishwasher Pods, without sacrificing performance or aesthetics,” said Derrick Lawrence, director of packaging development at Seventh Generation. “Our customers were asking for a more recyclable option, and our collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, Dow and Accredo Packaging turned that demand into a reality.”

Meanwhile, Avery Dennison recently unveiled two new self-adhesive PE filmic labels with a face stock that includes more than 80 percent renewable content, offering brand owners the opportunity to meet their target on renewable resources in packaging, while continuing to benefit from the functionality and performance of a regular polyethylene label.

“Economic growth, natural resource scarcity and an increasing demand for goods and services will all contribute to an uncertain supply of finite non-renewable resources in the years to come,” said Xander van der Vlies, sustainability director at Avery Dennison Materials Group Europe. “With our expanding product range of sustainable label materials — which now includes these bio-based PE label films — we can support converters who want to fulfill brand owners’ needs for packaging from renewable resources, while also helping them to provide a differentiating product and drive sales in a fast-growing segment.”

The resin used for the new bio-based PE films is made from Bonsucro® Certified Sugar Cane, which follows rigorous social and environmental monitoring prior to certification. Both new products offer performance and recyclability comparable to standard PE85 resin. With the proper precautions and preparation*, these films act as drop-in replacements, meaning converters can substitute conventional PE for a bio-based PE label film without investing in new machinery. The bio-based PE self-adhesive laminates are available in a white and a clear version.

Using PE label films containing more than 80 percent bio-based resin allows brand owners to reduce their dependency on fossil-based packaging materials. The introduction of the bio-based film demonstrates that environmental improvements can go hand in hand with business success, and is one component in the company’s wider efforts towards achieving its 2025 Sustainability Goals.

Avery Dennison worked with global resin producer Braskem and Belgium converter Desmedt Labels to prototype and test the bio-based PE label at the Belgium facilities of Ecover, manufacturer of ecologically sound cleaning products.

*Due to the nature of the resin, special care is required for optimal conversion on the press. Avery Dennison recommends dies be sharp and not damaged for die-cutting.


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