From sustainable chocolate packaging to better recycling solutions: Milliken in 2021

From sustainable chocolate packaging to better recycling solutions: Milliken in 2021

January 10, 2022 by Christine Neri and Wim Van de Velde

At Milliken, we believe in the power of ideas to impact the world and in 2021 we are proud to have made some of these a reality. From our R&D scientists developing cleaner chemistry to the acquisition of companies that deliver solutions for 100% recycling options, our collective talents are helping to make the 2020s healthier and more sustainable.

New product launches for safety, sustainability and superior performance

Designed for use by thermoformers, Milliken Chemical Division’s latest high-performance polypropylene additive, launched in January, uses a cleaner chemistry for a brighter look. Hyperform HPN 909ei delivers an excellent balance of physical properties and superb aesthetics.

This new grade of Hyperform has been tailored specifically to minimize migration, especially in food-contact applications, with one Specific Migration Limit (SML) less than the previous generation product, meaning there is one less substance that must be monitored and tested for, reducing customers’ compliance burden.

Milliken and Zebra-chem

In March, Milliken acquired Zebra-chem, a global chemicals company known for its peroxide and blowing agent masterbatches. With more brands and governments setting goals to increase their use of recycled materials, plastics manufacturers are faced with the challenges of using recycled plastics effectively. Peroxide masterbatches, like those from Zebra-chem, make it possible to incorporate up to 100% recycled content into these new plastics.

Combining the strengths of Milliken and Zebra-chem opens up new potential to expand solutions that accelerate and improve plastic recycling. Customers will benefit from enhanced research and development capabilities, shared knowledge, and a broadened product portfolio.

Milliken and Encapsys moving the needle on sustainability

Milliken also formally acquired Encapsys in October, a world leader in microencapsulation. This technology puts a uniform polymeric shell around a core material at the micron level to create capsules and has applications across industries, helping companies to achieve more sustainable products by advancing responsible consumption and the efficient delivery of active materials.

Expanding the focus on recycling with viscosity modifiers

In November, Milliken expanded its portfolio of solutions for polypropylene recyclers with DeltaFlow™ Viscosity Modifiers, expanding the options for advancing the plastics circular economy.

These solid concentrates allow for the increased use of recycled content by improving the properties of recycled PP resin itself. Recyclers can use DeltaFlow to increase the melt flow rate of recycled polypropylene (rPP) for extrusion and injection molding processes. Milliken’s DeltaFlow free-flowing pellets make the product easy to feed, safe to handle and dust free. DeltaFlow-optimized resins allow for lower processing temperatures which can enable converters to reduce cycle times, boost productivity and improve processibility. This new concentrate complements Milliken’s existing family of DeltaMax Performance Modifiers for PP, that are just the latest example of contributing to the industry’s ongoing push to promote sustainability.

For the love of sustainable chocolate

Ferrero and Milliken share a passion for chocolate and enhancing packaging sector circularity. In 2021, our long-standing relationship led Ferrero to turn to us again in its mission to find the right material for the iconic Ferrero Rocher boxes.

Milliken custom-designed more than 20 formulations to find the right box made from polypropylene, a clear, lightweight and highly recyclable material, demonstrating measurable performance improvement including lower resource consumption and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, working on the demanding specifications to maintain the iconic Ferrero Rocher box’s transparency, and guaranteeing the same high-quality product that our consumers know and love.

In 2021 we are proud to have make a difference in what we do and the way we do it. With collaboration and courage we are creating innovations that improve lives and create a safer, more sustainable and healthier future.

Written by

Christine Neri

Performance Colorants & Ingredients

Written by

Wim Van de Velde

Global Vice President
Plastic Additives