Siegwerk announced its most recent development for improved deinking, especially for rigid plastic packaging, which is adding a substantial value to industrial mechanical recycling.
With its UV and water-based deinking primers for labels and sleeves, Siegwerk offers validated solutions for a safe and economic deinking of energy cured ink systems that have been so far considered as non-deinkable. This sets new norms to drive deinking as and industry standard and further improve the recyclability and circularity of plastic packaging.
Siegwerk is now offering an UV-curing deinking primer that is suitable for pressure sensitive and wrap around labels, and shrink sleeves made of Polyolefin- and Polyester-based materials. This development closes a gap as it now allows an inline printing of deinkable materials in a 100% UV-Flexo press setup.
Today, consumers expect higher recycling levels of plastic packaging where a meaningful reuse of the recycled material is mandatory instead of wasting the material into downcycling streams. This sustainability-conscious demand has driven brand owners to rethink their packaging to switch to 100% recyclable packaging in the near future.
‘Achieving this 100% packaging circularity requires a sufficient and consistent quality of recyclates,’ explained Ralf Leineweber, Head of Global Technology Development at Siegwerk. ‘In mechanical recycling, as today’s only established industrial recycling process, deinking of printed packaging material is one, if not the most, viable technologies to meet this requirement. Only deinking can bring clean and clear recyclates with a suitable quality back into the packaging stream to consequently reduce the need of more virgin plastic material.’
To integrate deinking into the recycling process, recyclers need to implement a hot washing step first, if not already existing. Here, it is critical that the deinking does not negatively impact the recycling process for example by contaminating the wash water. Besides, the lower the needed washing temperature for deinking the better – because this not only saves energy but also costs. More and more recyclers focusing on rigid plastic packaging such as trays, cups and plastic containers are implementing hot washing processes to improve the quality of their recyclates which enables an easy and seamless integration of a deinking step for a broad range of packaging materials. ‘We consider deinking primers as a key lever for smart deinking of crosslinked ink systems especially at low washing temperatures for sleeves, labels and other printed decoration for rigid plastic packaging,’ explained Leineweber.
Siegwerk’s deinking primers enable a smooth and reliable deinking at any hot washing condition currently used in the recycling industry. They are compliant with different film materials like cPET, PE or PP and do not require the use of a dedicated ink series to keep complexity for users rather low. Any printing process can be used in combination with our deinking primer portfolio, from flexo, offset and screen printing to foiling, metallic and other decorative embellishments.
With its UV-curing deinking primer, the company offers a solution for converters who are using a pure UV flexo press and are not able to process a water-based primer. This primer shows best compatibility with UV-curing inks facilitating quantitative deinking according to the washing protocols of EPBP and APR. Applied under bleeding resistant UV-cured ink layers, the primer layer dissolves in the hot washing process and thus enables the generation of high-quality colourless recyclates, while the non-bleeding ink formulations ensure a clean and reusable washing solution.
Siegwerk is currently engaged in various deinking projects for all kind of rigid packaging solutions with in-mould and pressure sensitive labels as well as for direct printed rigid containers.