APK AG’s Research and Development unit completed testing several LDPE-film samples, which are printed twofold using Siegwerk’s inks


LDPE film printed twofold with Siegwerk ink is treated in APK AG’s Newcycling process. (Credit: ©APK AG)

Germany-based printing inks provider Siegwerk and APK AG, a plastic recyclate producer, have announced the completion of de-inking trials of twofold printed LDPE-films.

Recently, the Research and Development unit of APK AG completed testing a number of LDPE-film samples, which are printed twofold using Siegwerk’s inks.

The tests were aimed to determine whether APK AG’s Newcycling solvent-based recycling technology could fully remove Siegwerk’s yellow, red, black and blue inks from the polymer matrix. The samples were treated with the Newcycling solvent and dissolved.

The APK AG’s Newcycling involves a physical pre-treatment of plastic waste in conventional mechanical recycling processes.

APK AG Plastics Recycling Innovation Centre head Hagen Hanel said: “In line with the principles of the EU Green Deal and the new Circular Economy Action Plan our Newcycling-technology aims at closing cycles for flexible packaging solutions that are deemed ‘un-recyclable’ up to now.

“We aspire to combine environmental benefits of recycling with high-quality performance of the recyclate.”

The deinking tests produced virgin-like recyclate

In the next step, APK AG added the solvent-based recycling process step, which purifies and removes additives such as Siegwerk printing inks from polymer. This resulted in ‘near-virgin’ recyclate.

Siegwerk Circular Economy Hub head Alina Marm said: “Design for recycling ideally enabling product-to-product recycling – is crucial to closing the loop for flexible packaging.

“For Siegwerk this means providing innovative printing inks and lacquers, which facilitate high-quality recycling – for example by allowing easy de-inking while keeping full performance during the use phase.”

Last year, Siegwerk announced the opening of new fully automated blending centre in Siegburg, Germany for the production of customer inks.