A lot of demands are placed on food packaging in terms of food safety, durability, and recyclability. Walki is answering to the ever-tightening demands with a high-barrier laminate approved by RecyClass.
Constantly seeking new solutions that not only meet the high demands placed on certain packaging but actively push the whole industry towards more sustainable solutions is a top priority at Walki. The Lamibel®MDO-PE Laminate HB film, a high-barrier packaging material, has recently been approved as fully compatible with the flexible polyethylene (PE) recycling stream in Europe as it passed the procedures of the RecyClass Recyclability Assessment Protocol for PE films.
A high-barrier package provides superior protection against gases, moisture, water vapour, and other agents that can damage products, and is particularly important for food, pharmaceuticals, and electronics, as they can get spoiled easily.
Typically, multiple layers of different types of plastic have been used to get a high barrier, making the material more difficult to recycle as the different layers need to be separated prior to recycling. Walki’s Lamibel®MDO-PE Laminate HB is a film where over 95% of the plastics component is made from the same material. The MDO-PE film is laminated with high-barrier PE film, making the film into a mono-material which means it’s recyclable without separating the layers.
Juan Ángel Ruiz
Head of R&D and Materials
at Walki Plasbel
“With our Lamibel®MDO-PE Laminate HB, we are bringing a revolutionary solution to the market. This material not only facilitates the recycling process but also provides packaging that significantly extends shelf life for food. In this way, we are taking a big step in reducing food waste. It is an ideal material for products such as nuts, cereals, and sweets, which require protection against oxygen and other odours to maintain their freshness and quality.”
MDO-PE for increased mechanical properties and stiffness
The outer layer of our Lamibel®MDO-PE Laminate HB is made up of MDO-PE (Machine Direction Orientation Polyethylene), polyethylene (PE) that has been oriented in the machine direction during its processing. This orientation step involves stretching the polymer chains in the same direction as the film is extended, which significantly improves its mechanical properties and stiffness.
The technology used in MDO-PE makes it possible to maximize its thermal and chemical resistance, flexibility, and sealing ability. The packaging film also has greater clarity while still being very thin.
All these qualities, combined with the reduced need for material, make MDO-PE widely used in packaging. Furthermore, MDO-PE also offers benefits in terms of recyclability and sustainability, as it facilitates the creation of mono-material packages that are easier to recycle.
RecyClass recyclability approval
Following recent independent tests, Walki’s laminated structure has been approved as fully compatible with the flexible polyethylene recycling stream in Europe.
Walki’s Lamibel®MDO-PE Laminate HB is the first material with EVOH and solvent-free PU-based laminating adhesive to receive recyclability approval.
The tests were conducted by Aimplas following the standardized procedures of the RecyClass Recyclability Assessment Protocol for PE films. RecyClass is a non-profit system that evaluates and certifies the recyclability of materials with the aim of providing transparency about the origin of plastics and establish standardized protocols that allow for the assessment of recyclability uniformly across Europe.
The tests confirmed that there are no adverse effects during the recycling process, demonstrating compatibility with Europe’s most advanced recycling processes.
This new recognition is another testimonial highlighting the importance of packaging having the right characteristics to be both functional and recyclable. Furthermore, the results obtained will serve as a catalyst for continued improvement and innovation towards a circular model, aligning with the goals set by the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation.
“We are very proud of this development, which represents a perfect balance between sustainability and functionality”, concludes Juan Ángel Ruiz.
RecyClass Press Release
Walki Plasbel ‘Lamibel®MDO-PE Laminate HB’ receives a RecyClass Recyclability Approval