design for recyclabilityDow Chemical Co. has developed an advanced barrier pouch that can be recycled through retail PE collection streams.

Dow recently announced the release of what it calls the Recycle Ready Advanced Barrier pouch, suitable for foods that need to keep oxygen and moisture out and aroma in. The pouches are eligible to carry the How2Recycle logo, which will indicate to consumers they should be returned to retail polyethylene (PE) film collection bins.

Dow says it’s the first pouch with barrier properties that can be recycled in retail PE streams.

“It opens up the application space for a lot of different foods,” said Stacy Fields, North America director of packaging solutions for Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics.

The latest in Dow’s RecycleReady family of products, the barrier pouch includes the company’s Retain polymer modifier, an additive that compatibalizes the two different polymers in the pouch. Without a compatibilizer, the two polymers would resist mixing, resulting in gels and other plastic defects.

In recent years, Dow has also developed and commercialized a multi-layer stand-up pouch made entirely of PE, which could be collected at retail PE film drop-off sites. Because it’s made entirely of PE, however, that RecycleReady pouch doesn’t have the high-barrier properties of the newest product.

Fields said he expects commercialization of the new pouch by the end of this year.