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Nova Debuts Recycled Polyethylene Resin for Food-Contact Packaging

The FDA-compliant recycled polyethylene can be used in rigid and flexible packaging.

Geoff Giordano

March 9, 2023

2 Min Read
food-contact packaging made from recycled polyethylene
Image courtesy of Nova Chemicals

A new mechanically recycled polyethylene (rPE) resin for food packaging is an FDA-compliant addition to Nova Chemicals’ recently released Syndigo portfolio.

Syndigo rPE-0860-FC is sourced from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) milk, water, and juice jugs, according to the material’s data sheet, and can be used in rigid and flexible packaging.

"By adding the first food-contact rPE to the Syndigo portfolio, we're supporting our mission of increasing rPE usage to demonstrate our commitment to eliminating plastic waste and reducing the carbon footprint of plastic packaging," said Alan Schrob, Nova Chemicals' director of mechanical recycling. "Achieving the high level of performance needed for use in food contact puts this recycled resin in a field with few others and allows our customers to target the most demanding applications."

As a blend component for virgin PE for food packaging, the latest Syndigo resin features a melt index of 0.8 (per ASTM testing method D 1238) and density of 0.960 (per ASTM D 792), according to the spec sheet.

Three additional Syndigo resins are available for use in non-food contact applications, ranging from e-commerce mailers to shrink to industrial films:

  • EX-PCR-WR3 — sourced from PE agricultural film for e-commerce mailers, can liners, carry-out bags, protective packaging, and shrink. 

  • EX-PCR-NC4 — sourced from back-of-store distribution center PE stretch film and front-of-store consumer drop off for heavy-duty sacks, e-commerce mailers, stretch wrap, collation shrink, protective packaging, and industrial films. 

  • EX-PCR-HD5 — sourced from HDPE milk jugs for flexible packaging, heavy-duty sacks, and small-part blow molding. 

“Plastic products play a critical role in our daily lives, and industry and consumers are placing higher value on products that contribute to the circular economy,” said John Thayer, Nova Chemicals' senior vice president of sales and marketing. These resins underscore “Nova’s commitment to be a leader in sustainable polyethylene production. We are investing time, resources, and world-class technical knowledge into this new line of business and the Syndigo brand.”  

Added Alan Schrob, Nova Chemicals' director of mechanical recycling: "Achieving the high level of performance needed for use in food contact puts this recycled resin in a field with few others and allows our customers to target the most demanding applications."

About the Author(s)

Geoff Giordano

Geoff Giordano is a tech journalist with more than 30 years’ experience in all facets of publishing. He has reported extensively on the gamut of plastics manufacturing technologies and issues, including 3D printing materials and methods; injection, blow, micro and rotomolding; additives, colorants and nanomodifiers; blown and cast films; packaging; thermoforming; tooling; ancillary equipment; and the circular economy. Contact him at [email protected].

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