Enhancing Plastics With Care

September 03, 2019 by Veerle De Wolf

At K 2019 Milliken is showcasing its work to enhance plastics with care, and towards a circular economy, helping customers to be more sustainable by developing longer lasting products that are easier to recycle.

As a responsible company, that cares for the world around us, we believe that everyone within the plastics value chain has a responsibility to become part of the solution. One aspect of this will be the design and delivery of enhanced plastic products that are more efficient, last longer and make the best use of resources such as water, energy and raw materials.

So, as society, government and industry’s focus has turned to the challenge of plastic waste, our focus has become technology innovation for plastics manufacturing, to help create higher-performing products that contribute to a better world. At Milliken we believe in taking a holistic approach to the enhancement of plastics and, as a member of the plastics industry’s long-standing “Responsible Care” initiative, we are not only constantly working to advance the sustainability of our entire product portfolio, but also continually developing new partnerships and pushing the boundaries of our Research and Development to increase responsible manufacturing in a variety of ways.

Our R&D, and new partnerships to enhance plastics, assist our customers in many ways. Several of Milliken’s technologies help converters to manufacture more sustainably by: reducing energy use – thereby helping to lower greenhouse gas emissions and overall carbon footprints - enabling the substitution of more environmentally friendly materials and promoting the recyclability of resins such as polypropylene or the use of a higher percentage of recycled PP in end products.

Taking care of the planet

We all know that plastic is one of the most versatile and widely used materials in the world today and our modern society could not exist without it. Yet we also face a growing plastics challenge. Plastic waste pollutes our landscapes and oceans, impacting wildlife and natural systems.

Continuing more than a century of good corporate citizenship, sustainability is a serious issue for us. To assist us in our goal of “enabling plastics to improve people’s lives and transform the impact plastics have on the environment for the better”, we partner with global experts and organisations to help develop solutions in plastics. On display at K 2019 are our additives that help to take our industry closer to a circular economy.

Our new NX™ UltraClear™ PP (Polypropylene) Packaging is one product pushing sustainability boundaries. It allows PP packaging to reach levels of clarity similar to PET, but at much lighter weights, helping to reduce waste and because it can be used not only for bottles but caps and labels, it offers a single material solution, making packaging simpler to recycle than containers made from multiple materials.

Millad® NX™ 8000 is another technology that offers new opportunities to enhance sustainability in injection molding processes by saving energy and boosting productivity at the same time as enhancing quality. By allowing manufacturers to process PP at lower temperatures, Millad NX 8000 can reduce energy consumption by around 15% compared to conventional clarifiers.

Meanwhile, Milliken is continuing to forge partnerships with companies and global sustainability organizations with a goal to advancing circular-economy initiatives.

Recently we announced an exciting new partnership with PureCycle Technologies and Nestlé to accelerate revolutionary plastics recycling. Using technology developed and licenced by Procter & Gamble to advance the closed-loop recycling of polypropylene resin, by 2021, PureCycle plans to open its first plant that restores ‘virgin-like’ quality to waste PP resin. This will enable the recycled material to become truly circular, and be reused in its original application, as opposed to having to be downcycled into lower-value products.

“Milliken has clear priorities to help create a circular economy for plastics,” said Herrin Hood global marketing director of Milliken’s Plastics Additives business adding, “improving the recyclability of plastics for our customers, replacing single-use plastics with durable reusable plastics and increasing the use of biopolymers by developing products that boost performance and aesthetic properties will help create a more sustainable plastics industry as we work to create a positive impact on the world.”

At K 2019, visit our booth (Hall 6/A27) to find out more about our products that help drive sustainability and learn more about Milliken’s partnership with PureCycle Technologies to advance closed-loop recycling of PP resin when Milliken and PureCycle jointly hold a media event in Room 8 of Congress Center South on Friday, Oct. 18, at 10:00 am.