Two Henkel adhesives from the Loctite Liofol RE range for use in flexible packaging have been recognized by RecyClass as fully compatible with existing recycling processes for polyethylene (PE). The development of these adhesives ensures that flexible packaging can be recycled into higher quality plastics, and it enables better second-life options in various applications. Henkel reports that this is a key milestone toward greater sustainability and the creation of a circular economy.

RecyClass is a cross-industry initiative that advances plastic packaging recyclability and ensures traceability and transparency of recycled plastic content in Europe. The organization aims to establish a harmonized approach toward recycled content calculation through activities such as the rigorous scientific testing and certification of innovative materials.  

“To receive the RecyClass approval, our innovative SF adhesives were extensively tested in accordance with strict scientific protocols that have confirmed their suitability for the packaging recycling process,” said Guilherme Fernandes, senior manager of product development for polyurethanes at Henkel.

The Henkel solution has been tested by the RecyClass PO films Technical Committee. During the assessment, how the different solvent-free laminating adhesives impact the properties of laminated LDPE film layers after recycling was reviewed.

As a result, it has been confirmed that both solvent-free laminating adhesives are fully compatible with existing European industrial recycling processes for PE flexibles. In addition, the use of both adhesives did not have any negative impact on the quality of the recycled content and was proven to be suitable for use in applications such as PE blown films up to 25%.

“Our RE range of adhesives is designed to enable better recyclability of packaging,” said Alexander Bockisch, head of market strategy for flexible packaging at Henkel. “The RecyClass technology approval for our adhesives creates more transparency for packaging designers towards the use of packaging components that are truly compatible with recycling.”

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