Hybrid BOPE/BOPP line stretches mono-material packaging potential

When biaxially-oriented polyethylene (BOPE) was first touted as the mono-material alternative to polypropylene, polyamide and PET in "single-material" multilayer packaging structures, the common perception was that BOPP film manufacturers might have to invest in new production assets dedicated to BOPE production. And while new investment is indeed necessary, the news is not all that bad given extrusion/orienting line OEM Brückner recently installed its first hybrid line reported to be equally at home extruding both BOPP and BOPE. Bulgaria'n converter Plastchim-T is pioneering use of the hybrid line and suppliers PE-based films under its BOPE PEoneer® family, including three main product groups: LLDPE films, HDPE films, and blends of LLDPE & HDPE films.

BOPE is viewed as a game changer in enhancing the recyclability of multilayer packaging structures, delivering mechanical properties such as stiffness that are normally obtained through using another resin in combination with polyethylene-based functional layers. European regulations define "mono-material" as a packaging structure comprised of 90% of a single resin type, with the remaining components such as barrier layers and inks not comprising the recyclability of the structure.