"Sustainable products" is one of the three main topics of the machinery builder W&H at K 2019. W&H is showing a whole spectrum of example products that are either fully recyclable or contain shares of recycled material. 

The six sample products include two monomaterial laminates, three films with recycled material and a high-barrier film, which uses water-soluble intermediate layers to separate incompatible materials. Information on all sample products is available at the trade fair booth in Düsseldorf. The corresponding machines can be seen in production at the EXPO at the W&H headquarters in Lengerich.

"We want to show the wide range of possibilities regarding sustainability and how these can be efficiently achieved with W&H lines using both cast film and blown film processes," explains Lennart Ederleh, Head of Technical Sales Blown Film at W&H. "We worked with over 20 partners from the entire value chain to develop the solutions. We tested downstream processes such as printing and converting in our own technology centers," explains Dr. Torsten Schmitz, Head of Business Unit Extrusion.


W&H is showing two recyclable versions made of mono-material for the trend packaging stand-up pouches: made of PE and PP. Thanks to Machine Direction Orientation (MDO), the VAREX II blown film line can produce stand-up pouches from 100% PE material that offer the same functionalities as conventional films based on a material mix of PET-PE. Both the MDO-PE film with 25 µm and the PE sealing film with 110 µm can be produced on the same line. The edge trimming of the MDO-PE film is regranulated and integrated into the production process of the sealing film. On the FILMEX II cast film line, W&H is demonstrating a stand-up pouch made of all-PP. The laminate structure consists of 20 µm BO-PP film and a 60 µm Cast-PP film with an integrated thin, recyclable barrier coating.

Recyclable high barrier film 

The recyclability of high barrier films is demonstrated using thin layers of a water-soluble barrier polymer. The VAREX II blown film line offers the required excellent melt distribution for this packaging solution, in which the conventional EVOH for the oxygen barrier is replaced by BVOH G polymer. Only with the 11layer technology of the VAREX II can the varying requirements of the individual raw material classes be optimally met. For the recycling process, the film is shredded and washed in water. The BVOH layers dissolve and the pure PA sinks to the bottom, while the PE flakes float on top. This separation enables the pure polymers to be recycled.

Use of recycled material 

W&H is also showing packaging solutions in which recycled raw materials are used. The OPTIMEX II blown film line will produce bottle shrink films with 20% post-consumer recycled material and the VAREX II line will produce shrink films with 30% post-industrial recycled material. The films offer the same shrink properties and mechanical properties as conventional film based on virgin material. On display will be printed six-packs of 1.5-litre bottles, which enable a direct comparison of the film quality.