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Baerlocher Stabilization Technology for PCR Drives Development of High-quality, Sustainable HDPE for Extrusion Blow Molding

Düsseldorf, Germany – October 19, 2022 – Baerlocher, a leading global supplier of plastics additives, announced here at K 2022 (Hall 5, Stand A21), its successful collaborations with industry leaders Envision Plastics, Bekum America, W. MÜLLER and ExxonMobil Chemical to develop new sustainable plastics for the packaging industry. Baerlocher’s innovative Baeropol® T-Blends stabilization solutions significantly enhance the recyclability of virgin polyolefin resins and the quality of recycled high-density polyethylene (re-HDPE) resins used in extrusion blow molded (EBM) applications.

“Brand owners are increasing their use of post-consumer recycled (PCR) content in end products in response to growing consumer demands for greater sustainability and new regulations calling for the use of more recycled content,” said Andreas Holzner, Global Head of the Special Additives Business Unit at Baerlocher. “Historically, the inconsistent quality of PCR content has limited its use in extrusion blow molding applications. Working with industry leaders, Baerlocher continues to invest in cutting-edge application development that enhances the value of recycled HDPE and expands its use in extrusion blow molding.”  

Improving PCR Content-based Packaging with Resin Stabilization Technology

Baeropol® T-Blends are formulated with Baerlocher’s Resin Stabilization Technology (RST), a family of customizable additive blends which acts as an antacid and produces a synergistic effect with primary and secondary antioxidants to stabilize polyolefin resins. Baerlocher’s advanced RST packages create value far beyond the use of typical binary antioxidant blends. The technology enables companies to achieve superior stabilization in PCR content used for a wide variety of packaging applications, meet global calls for greater corporate responsibility, and better support the circular economy.  

Collaborating on Novel PCR Solutions

Baerlocher’s work with leading HDPE plastics recycler Envision Plastics enabled the development of a new grade of HDPE PCR content with improved consistency and processability, and ultimately resulted in high quality packaging applications. The new re-HDPE grade was tested at Bekum America’s facility using an F-style 10-liter bottle with a handle. Results revealed the tested re-HDPE 100 percent PCR content displayed more robust processability and enhanced final bottle specifications versus the control. 

“We are delighted to work with Baerlocher on additives to enhance recycled content used in a broad base of commercial applications, including those for direct food contact,” said Jean Bina, director of sales and market development at Envision Plastics. “The new PCR grade is available for trials today and is being tested by world-class consumer packaged goods companies and their blow molders.”

Further experiments at Bekum demonstrated that Baeropol® T-Blend has a significantly positive impact on the processability and final properties of PCR materials that have varying concentrations of virgin material, also.

Baerlocher worked with W. MÜLLER, a leading German EBM technology provider, to validate new PCR materials formulated with Baeropol® T-blends. Results showed that these materials exhibit less variation in die pressure and parison length, while producing bottles with top load performance that matches those made with virgin resin.

Additionally, Baerlocher’s upstream collaboration with polymer company ExxonMobil Chemical, supports the company’s efforts to create virgin polyethylene (PE) resins that are easier to recycle. Baerlocher’s RST solution, along with ExxonMobil Chemical’s modification of the resin architecture, helped to successfully develop these novel recycle-ready resins.  

“Baerlocher’s technical expertise supported our development of a new generation of high- performance and recycle-friendly resins,” said Mark Canright, HDPE principal engineer, ExxonMobil Chemical. “Baerlocher provided us with a cutting-edge stabilization package that supports our effort to increase the number of recycling cycles for our resin.” 

Experts from Baerlocher’s technical and commercial teams are available at their booth for the duration of K2022 to discuss customers’ existing and upcoming EBM challenges.

About Baerlocher:

The Baerlocher Group is a leading manufacturer of additives for the plastics industry. Its portfolio includes a broad range of stabilizers and other additives suitable for a variety of polymer and non-polymer applications.

Baerlocher USA delivers tailored solutions in a reliable, supportive, and ethical manner by investing in our people, customers, and markets while adapting to changing needs.

Baerlocher embraces the principles of responsible care. It operates an ISO 9001 certified quality management system and an environmental management system compliant with ISO 14001. Baerlocher plays a positive role in both the business community and society as a whole. This includes work within industry associations, and the provision of training opportunities in a variety of disciplines.

The Baerlocher Group has production plants around the globe and operates a sales network serving all major countries. 

Baeropan, Baerostab and Baerolub are registered trademarks of Baerlocher.

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Baerlocher’s innovative Baeropol® T-1111 stabilization solutions significantly enhance the recyclability of 100 percent virgin and PCR resins, and the quality of recycled high-density polyethylene resins used in extrusion blow molded packaging applications.