Siegwerk has introduced an improved UV curing printing, which is suitable for pressure-sensitive and suitable for wrapping around labels, and shrink sleeves made of polyolefin and polyester-based materials. Primera has also been developed specifically for rigid plastic packaging in industrial mechanical recycling processes.
This development now allows 100 percent UV-flexo presses to be printed online in a printable material configuration.
“Achieving this 100 percent packaging circularity requires sufficient and consistent recycled quality,” explained Ralf Leineweber, head of Global Technology Development at Siegwerk. According to Siegwerk, as mechanical recycling is the only process of today’s industrial recycling, the removal of ink from printed packaging material is one, if not the most, viable technology to meet this requirement. Removing the ink can only return clean, clean recycled products of good quality to the packaging, thereby reducing the need for more virgin plastic material.
Guido Lander, Vice President of Niegow Web EMEA in Siegwerk, added: “This is why we are committed to providing customers with support that facilitates de-inking with innovative solutions and thus helps to de-de-stress as an industry standard, further improving packaging recyclability and circularity.”
To integrate deinting into the recycling process, recyclers must first set up a hot cleaning step. Here, it is essential that detoxification does not have a negative effect on the recycling process, for example by contaminating the cleaning water. More and more recyclers focusing on rigid plastic containers such as trays, cups and plastic containers are implementing hot cleaning processes to improve the quality of recyclers.
“We consider staining printers as a key lever for intelligent unwinding of cross-ink systems, especially for cleaning sleeves, labels, and other low-temperature decorative prints printed on rigid plastic containers,” Leineweber said.
Siegwerk’s deinking primers claim that they can be removed under any of the hot cleaning conditions currently used in the recycling industry. They are compatible with film materials such as cPET, PE or PP and do not require the use of dedicated ink series. Any printing process can be used in combination with its deinking primer portfolio: flexo, offset and screen printing, foiling, metal and other decorative ornaments.
With UV curing printing deinting, the company offers a solution to using UV flexo press pure converters and cannot process a water-based primer. This primer is said to be compatible with UV dyes that facilitate quantitative dehydration according to EPBP and APR cleaning protocols. When applied under UV-cured layers of UV-resistant ink, the printing layer dissolves in a hot cleaning process, allowing the creation of colorless recyclables, ensuring that blood-free ink formulations ensure a clean, reusable cleaning solution.
The manufacturer is involved in a number of mold and pressure sensitive pressure vessels, as well as directly printed rigid vessels.
“According to the circular economy, the biggest opportunities to improve plastic recycling are, of course, in areas where heat cleaning has already become a standard step in the recycling process, such as PET bottles when recycling 2 bottles,” added Leineweber.
Siegwerk, for example, has developed deinking technologies for shrink sleeves, claiming 100 percent recyclability of the bottle and hose in the quality of food handling. In addition, the ink expert sees the potential for recovering high-quality recycled waste from post-industrial flexible packaging. Post-consumer waste should also be followed for a certain period of time due to its volume importance.
The company also provides technical services to customers throughout the value chain to help optimize the process of de-optimization. The company can also offer optimized detoxification chemistry based on systematic development to ensure the rapid detinting of clean flakes with almost virgin quality of the recycled.
“Deinking is not a product for us, it’s a‘ Full Service Offer ’where everything has to be tied up,” Lander said. “That’s why we follow a comprehensive approach and offer detoxification tests in accordance with the most common cleaning protocols in our specialized laboratories.”
Based on its ink removal specialty, Siegwerk can guide customers through the entire process, from unprinted substrate to unpacked and recycled packaging material.