Aiming to boost recycling for food-grade PET packaging, Innovia Films has unveiled a low-density white polyolefin shrink film that reportedly maintains its floatability when printed.

The white patented film, or white APO, is an extension of Innovia Films’ RayoFloat floatable shrink sleeve range and is designed for easy, automatic label separation and removal during the sink/float recycling process. As such, it is set to unlock an increased yield of high-quality PET flakes for food-grade applications.

The film is said to contain up to 20% post-industrial recycled content and is set to contribute to a closed loop at Innovia Films’ production facility in Płock, Poland. It is also opaque; this is intended to protect light-sensitive products like dairy, food supplements, nutritional products, and cosmetics in the same way as a shrink sleeve that would later be applied to alternate containers.

“We have seen a need in the market to create an opaque film that floats and can be combined with transparent PET bottles,” says Simon Huber, managing director at Innovia Europe. “Many light-sensitive products are packed in HDPE bottles that are not recycled back into food grade packaging – at least not at the moment.

“This innovation is a gamechanger and can enable dairy brands and other companies that have light-sensitive products to switch to a transparent PET bottle that can and will be recycled back into food grade packaging – closing the loop.”

“The new Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWR) that is being created by the EU will be a big driver of Design for Recycling,” continues Lucija Kralj, business unit director Labels EMEA. “As all packaging will need to be recyclable by 2030 and certain recycled content targets will be mandatory, a transparent PET bottle with a floatable sleeve that automatically detached during sorting and recycling is the ideal solution.

“We have patented the film solution that will be manufactured in Poland but will be available globally.”

Previously, Highland Spring Group claimed to achieve a 54% reduction in carbon footprint compared to virgin materials by using Coveris’ Duralite R film – made from 100% recycled, 50% post-consumer rPE – for its 12 x 500ml multipacks.

Berry Global has also updated its Omni Xtra polyethylene cling film for fresh food products. Intended as a certified recyclable alternative to traditional PVC solutions, it is designed to package fruit and vegetables, meat and poultry, and deli and bakery products with improved elasticity and impact resistance.

Meanwhile, Duo and Plastix have worked together to produce shrink film made from waste fishing gear; it is set to serve as outer packaging for food and beverage products.

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