Printing inks provider Siegwerk and plastic recyclate producer APK AG have completed de-inking trials of twofold printed LDPE-films.

The Research and Development unit of APK AG recently tested a number of LDPE-film samples, which are printed twofold using Siegwerk’s yellow, red, black and blue inks.

These tests are conducted to see if APK AG’s Newcycling solvent-based recycling technology could fully remove Siegwerk’s inks from the polymer matrix.

The samples were treated with the Newcycling solvent and dissolved.

APK AG Plastics Recycling Innovation Centre head Hagen Hanel said: “In line with the principles of the EU Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan our Newcycling-technology aims at closing cycles for flexible packaging solutions that are deemed ‘un-recyclable’ up to now.

“We aspire to combine environmental benefits of recycling with high-quality performance of the recyclate.”

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Newcycling involves a physical pre-treatment of plastic waste, which is carried out in conventional mechanical recycling processes.

APK AG then adds the solvent-based process step, which purifies the polymer from additives such as printing inks from Siegwerk. The result is a virgin-like recyclate.

Siegwerk Circular Economy Hub head Alina Marm said: “Design for recycling ideally enabling product-to-product recycling – is crucial to closing the loop for flexible packaging.

“For Siegwerk this means providing innovative printing inks and lacquers, which facilitate high-quality recycling – for example by allowing easy de-inking while keeping full performance during the use phase.”

The two companies started their strategic partnership in October last year.

Siegwerk provides printing inks for packaging applications and labels.