Multilayer packaging consists of up to 11 individual, ultra-thin layers, making it considerably lighter and thinner than comparable packaging. In addition to reducing the amount of raw materials used, this also contributes to considerably lowering CO2 emissions during transport. All in all, multilayer packaging is clearly more resource efficient than its alternatives.
However, multilayer packaging could only be recycled to a limited extent, because mechanical recycling processes are not suitable for composite materials. “Within the ChemCycling project, BASF is working on advancing the chemical recycling of plastic waste, because this will make it possible to process and reuse previously non-recyclable plastics such as mixed plastics. In collaboration with our partners, we have now for the first time produced a prototype packaging made of chemically recycled polyamide and polyethylene. This goes to show that the recycling of multilayer packaging could soon come full circle,” explained Christoph Gahn, who is responsible for the polyamide business at BASF.