Monday, May 27, 2024

Siegwerk develops new inline printable barrier coatings

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Siegwerk, one of the leading global providers of printing inks and coatings for packaging applications and labels, has developed a fully recyclable mono-PE bag for dry pet food using its CIRKIT functional coatings. Together with printing machine manufacturer Windmöller & Hölscher and bag-making and machine producer B&B, the company jointly produced a new high-barrier mono-material packaging, which not only offers the same packaging and process performance as the multi-material structure commonly used for dry pet food but is also fully recyclable.

“New approaches are needed to meet the upcoming regulatory requirements for circular packaging,” says Belal Habib, head of brand owner collaboration at Siegwerk. “The challenge is to find a recyclable design that also meets the respective performance requirements of the packaging.”

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For example, pet food packaging does not only have to be food safe, but also requires certain barrier properties, such as resistance to oils and fats, to keep the food fresh and maintain the packaging’s structural integrity. For this purpose, complex multi-material structures with a metalized layer have commonly been used so far.

“The problem: they are not recyclable. This is where innovative barrier coatings applied in thin layers and inline with regular printing inks can help to switch from an incompatible multi-material structure to a fully recyclable mono-material solution in the sense of a Circular Economy,” Habib says.

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By using Siegwerk’s CIRKIT GreaseBar, an innovative inline printable grease barrier coating, and CIRKIT HeatGuard, a coating for high-end sealing process efficiency (heat resistance on film surfaces) that can also be applied inline with regular flexo or gravure machines, the newly developed recyclable mono-PE bag achieves the same packaging performance as non-recyclable complex multi-material systems but with the decisive advantage of being fully recyclable.

Both CIRKIT coatings are solvent-based, fully deinkable after delamination and can be printed inline without any loss in print performance. Besides, full PU inks were used that are not only suitable for mechanical recycling but also offer a process performance comparable to NC/PU flexo inks in terms of printing speed and quality. All used inks and coatings comply with the latest recycling guidelines including the German Minimum Standard and RecyClass for recyclable packaging.

“This development success once again underlines the importance of collaborating along the packaging value chain, combining the specialized know-how of industry experts,” summarizes Habib. “Together, we have succeeded in developing an innovation that is circular, delivers on performance and maintains current process efficiencies due to inline and high-speed conversion. This shows that, by joining forces, we are in a position to make recyclable mono-plastic packaging a reality and thus counter the still wide presence of multi-material laminated structures with future-oriented flexible packaging solutions made for circularity.”

Samples of the new pet food pouch will be available at Interzoo (7-10 May in Nuremberg, Germany) at B&B’s Stand 4A-413 in Hall 4A, at drupa 2024 (28 May – 7 June in Duesseldorf, Germany) at W&H’s Stand A51 in Hall 15 and on request from Siegwerk via

Visitors to Interzoo can also attend a presentation on ‘Recyclable Packaging Solutions for Pet Food,’ which will be held by Siegwerk and B&B experts on 8 May 2024 at 4 pm CEST.

The editorial team of The Packman who handle all the press releases with Sunil Jain working as the desk editor.

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