Uflex’s Chaturvedi: “Multi-layer plastic packaging is 100% recyclable”

“The good news is that multi-layer plastic packaging (MLP), even when it is printed, laminated and metallised, is 100% recyclable,” declared Uflex chairman Ashok Chaturvedi. He was speaking at the Speciality Films and Flexible Packaging Global Summit in Mumbai.

07 Sep 2018 | By Rushikesh Aravkar

Uflex chairman Ashok Chaturvedi

Chaturvedi said, “Uflex recognises its responsibility to the environment. It has been recycling all types of multi-layer packaging waste, in varied combinations and structures, successfully for the past two decades. It was awarded in Davos for this initiative way back in 1995.”

He was referring to Recycle’95 – Davos Global Forum where Uflex (then Flex Industries Limited) was conferred with the Best Paper Award as a testament to its efforts towards carbon footprint neutralisation and sustainability. The award was given for the subject of ‘recycling of mixed plastic waste comprising of laminated films of metallised PET/ LDPE/BOPP and printed with inks.

“We are ready to take a lead and set up plastic waste collection centres and recycle multilayer plastic packaging, which is printed, laminated and metallised,” said Chaturvedi urging all the flexible packaging manufacturers to set up recycling units and said that Uflex will support these initiatives including providing necessary technology support and manpower training.

“The recycling set-up to process two tonnes of multilayer plastic packaging waste per day costs about Rs 5-crore (except land). Uflex is ready to provide the technology free of cost, machines can be commissioned from makers across the world,” added Chaturvedi.

The recycled plastic granules from the MLP waste, according to Chaturvedi, can be used in the injection moulding applications such as flower-pots, wastebaskets, tumblers, core plugs, road dividers, pallets, low-cost furniture, park benches and other daily use utility items.

Bio-plastics – an answer?

Talking about bio-plastics, Chaturvedi said, “Bio-based plastics are plastic based partly or fully on biomass resources such as sugar, starch or lignocellulose biomass. The bioplastics that are available today are at least 55% petroleum-based.

“These need an industrial composting facility and composting atmosphere of 58 degree Celsius and Inoculum bacillus (bacteria) and humidity for biodegradation. Also, they are non-recyclable. They do not have good mechanical properties, sealability and barrier properties and the shelf life is short. Therefore, these are not recommended for food packaging. The only viable applications are carry bags, fruits and vegetable storage.”