NOVA Chemicals has introduced a new HDPE resin technology for machine direction orientated (MDO) and biaxially orientated (BO) films to enable the production of recyclable, all-polyethylene (PE) packaging for demanding applications.

According to NOVA Chemicals, its highly specialised HDPE resin, SURPASS HPs153-A, is now available to produce 100% high-density MDO films. The company says that, due to the broad orientation window, HPs132-A exhibits “exceptional” stability during production runs or manufacturing on commercial-scale inline MDO blown film equipment.

NOVA Chemicals adds that MDO-HDPE films can be used to replace BOPP and BOPET to produce fully recyclable, all-PE laminates with high stiffness to maintain registration for printing and converting, heat resistance to minimize shrinkage during packaging conversion, and “outstanding” clarity. Orientated film structures apparently offer enhanced stiffness, toughness and optical properties not obtainable in blown or cast films.

In addition, orientated film structures allow easy-to-recycle, all-PE packaging to replace traditional mixed material packaging that is not recyclable, according to NOVA Chemicals. The company adds that orientated films are ideal for use in food packaging, heavy-duty shipping sacks, e-commerce, and other demanding applications.

Owen Lightbody, application development and circular economy leader at NOVA Chemicals, comments: “NOVA Chemicals has a bold ambition to create a circular economy for plastic materials.

“Being able to produce HDPE-based oriented films is a significant step towards our industry’s goal of 100% recyclable packaging.”

Bill Pardo, food packaging market manager at NOVA Chemicals, adds: “According to our April 2022 consumer survey on plastics, packaging and sustainability, half of consumers aged 45 and under reported deliberately purchasing products because the package included a made from recycled materials label.

“This research further supports our focus on oriented PE films for recyclability.”

Last year, NOVA Chemicals introduced a BOPE-HD technology that enables the manufacture of all-PE, recyclable multi-layer film structures with “significantly improved” physical performances compared with blown film. The company says it is working with film producers across multiple regions to establish a global supply of commercial BOPE-HD films.