Reproflex3 supports R-Cycle in pilot project

February 5 2021 R3
Reproflex3 supports R-Cycle in fully recyclable pilot project

Reifenhäuser Group, experts in plastics extrusion, and COMEXI GROUP, leading supplier of machines for the packaging industry, have utilised the creative expertise of Reproflex3 in a joint R-Cycle project to enable high-quality recycling of flexible mono material pouches.

The R3 team designed a recycle-friendly pouch layout for the R-Cycle pilot.

The design was created on a very stiff PE film with excellent optical properties which was produced on a Reifenhäuser EVO Ultra Stretch blown film line and which is afterwards laminated on a white sealing film.

The main challenge for R3 in designing the recyclable pouch was to create a sophisticated graphic which incorporated key messaging, using as little print area as possible, in order to produce a high-quality and light-coloured recyclable material, that is also fit for re-use as packaging with the same characteristics.

For this reason, the pouch design only contains 30% ink coverage.

Another key design feature is the pouch is digitally connected to store recycling-relevant data on each step of the production journey.

By using a digital watermark within the pouch design, the data can be automatically retrieved throughout the sorting process to clearly identify the packaging for recycling and re-use.

Ralf Wiechmann, Head of Film Innovation at Reifenhäuser Blown Film, who supports and drives R-Cycle, said: “With Reproflex3, we have found a partner for this R-Cycle demo project who not only creates a first-class design, but also understands what is important in sustainable packaging.”

The collaboration between Reifenhäuser and COMEXI aims to demonstrate that harnessing the
R-Cycle concept can optimise the recycling process from end-to-end by storing recycling-relevant production data and attaching a clear ID mark on packages.

Andrew Hewitson, R3 Co-Founder explains: “The R-Cycle identifiable and fully recyclable pouch offers great potential for flexible packaging manufacturers and brand owners to support a circular economy through the supply chain by reducing and re-using effectively.

“We are extremely proud to support Reifenhäuser and COMEXI in trialling a new sustainable packaging solution that optimises the recycling process without compromising on graphic reproduction and print quality.”