Winner: Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics
Category: Process/Production Method (Retain Polymer Modifiers)
Currently, many coextruded film manufacturers generate about 8% to 15% of scrap in their barrier film manufacturing operations when using nylon or EVOH as the barrier. They are able to recycle the scrap back into their manufacturing process, but in small amounts: about 5%. If they introduce more than that back into the raw materials, they begin to see a reduction in optics (clarity) or in performance.
With Retain polymer modifiers, manufacturers are able to recycle up to 15% of the post-industrial barrier films without compromising performance or aesthetics.
Here is how the clever chemistry works, as described in the entry: “Based on a reactive ultra-low viscosity, Retain polymer modifiers allow pelletized barrier films, containing materials like ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) or polyamide (PA), to be more evenly dispersed into a polyolefin matrix. Reactive groups ‘coat’ the polar components, encapsulating them into micro-domains to enable excellent dispersion.”
Dow’s marketing manager Ritika Kalia and senior product development scientist Didem Oner-Deliormanli accept the award from competition organizer Steve Mahler, design manager and sustainable package development manager at Caraustar Industries, and me, Lisa Pierce.