Results of an independent laboratory testing demonstrated that the HDPE thin wall tube with an HDPE flip-top cap by Albéa is fully compatible with the rigid HDPE recycling stream.
The tube, which is used mostly as packaging for cosmetics, is made from a 100% mono-material structure with white masterbatch that incorporates a thin white barrier coextruded HDPE body with an HDPE shoulder and a snap-on HDPE flip-top cap. The tube and the cap were tested unprinted. The technology uses an EVOH barrier with around 3% concentration of the total weight of the packaging compatibilized with PE grafted MAH tie layers.
As demonstrated by the laboratory analyses of the Institut für Kunststofftechnologie und -recycling (IKTR), carried by the RecyClass Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for HDPE containers, the HDPE tube with low-melt flow HDPE flip-top cap technology is fully compatible with the recycling process. This technology poses no negative impacts to the rigid HDPE recycling stream when the set conditions are fulfilled. These stipulate, among others, that the body of the tube and its shoulder must be made of clear or white PE with the prevalence of HDPE. The EVOH concentration, on the other hand, cannot exceed 3% of the total weight of the packaging and the closure system must be made of clear or white low-melt flow HDPE grade. Additionally, any decorative technology applied on the tube must as well in line with RecyClass’ recommendations.
Recycled plastics generated from the recycling of this tube can be used to manufacture high-quality blow moulding applications such as bottles, with up to 25% concentration.
The results of this analysis are an important step for the industry as this innovation demonstrates once again that replacing currently widely used PP caps on HDPE tubes is feasible. Consequently, this will help decreasing the quantity of polypropylene in the HDPE recycling stream and therefore, improve the quality of this stream. The results of this first testing are very encouraging and show once again that mono-material structures contribute strongly to the overall recyclability of plastic packaging.
Furthermore, it is the first time that a low-melt flow HDPE flip-top cap technology was successfully tested by RecyClass.
This approval is a clear direction for the industry on how to improve recyclability and recycling rates for rigid HDPE packaging in Europe.
We invent and make responsible packaging – tubes, lipsticks, mascaras, fragrance caps, skincare jars and turnkey solutions – for the beauty, personal care and health markets. Yet we believe there can be no responsible packaging without a responsible company. That’s why we uphold the reputation of our dynamic and prestigious customers; we act for the environment; we support our communities; we invest in technical expertise and world-class equipment for our 32 modern facilities worldwide; and we care for our 12,000 talented people. At Albéa, we protect Beauty.
RecyClass is a comprehensive cross-industry initiative that works to advance plastic packaging recyclability and to establish a harmonized approach towards recycled content calculation and traceability in Europe. Activities within RecyClass include the development of Recyclability Evaluation Protocols and scientific testing of innovative materials which serve as the base for the Design for Recycling guidelines and the free online tool. RecyClass offers Recyclability Certifications and Recycled Content Traceability Certification for plastic packaging.