A polymer modifier technology was used compatibilize different resins in multilayer packaging so they could be recycled into new garbage bags. Those bags were then used by volunteers to clean plastics from coastlines.

Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, a unit of DowDuPont Materials Science, proved its Retain polymer modifier to compatibilize layers of EVOH and PE in industrial scrap films.

Retain is the same additive embedded in a multilayer film created by Dow. Its inclusion in the Recycle Ready Advance Barrier pouch allows the pouch to be recycled via retail bag collections. Later, when the plastics are melted, the additive allows the EVOH to be evenly dispersed into the polyolefin matrix.

The latest project by Dow was done through its participation in the Trash Free Seas Alliance and in collaboration with two other companies: Bemis, which makes flexible packaging, and Polykar, a converter. Bemis provided the multilayer film scraps to Polykar, which combined them with Retain to create a resin that it then used to make the trash bags.

Volunteers around the U.S. used the bags when they picked up millions of pounds of litter from coastlines during the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup on Sept. 16.

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