A collaboration between Sabic and three specialists have demonstrated the possibility of using certified renewable polymers in in-mould labelling (IML) packaging.

The partners, Sabic, Taghleef Industries, Karydakis IML and Kotronis Packaging, produced a mono-polypropylene (PP) thin-wall containers with IML made from a mass balanced, certified renewable resin.

The partners claimed to have achieved the milestone without compromising on quality, processability, safety or convenience.

The single-step IML technology, in which the label becomes an integral component of the packaging itself, eliminates the need to separately apply adhesive labels on the finished packaging product.

Taghleef has produced the biaxially oriented polyethylene (BOPP) label film material for the IML containers.

The company cut the film to shape and supplied the IML labels to Kotronis, which specialises in injection moulded containers for food products.

In addition to using renewable PP resins for both the moulded parts and the label film, the new packaging is recyclable in existing rigid PP recycling streams, noted Sabic.

Sabic ETP & Market Solutions general manager Abdullah Al-Otaibi said: “The demand for in-mould labelled packaging is constantly growing across various different consumer market segments, as it provides major opportunities for cost effective and highly sustainable solutions.

“Together with the responsibly sourced and certified renewable polymers from our TRUCIRCLE portfolio, this flexible decoration technology has enormous potential in fully recyclable mono-material packaging with no compromise on shelf visibility and consumer appeal in the retail space.

“At the same time, it can help manufacturers and brand owners reduce their environmental impact and carbon footprint while addressing the need for preventing valuable used plastic from ending up as waste.”