VOID Technologies [VOID™] is pleased to announce that its VO+™ PE 1300 Series Voiding Agent has achieved recyclability certifications and pre-qualifications for its ability to produce opaque polyethylene (PE) packaging that is compatible with current PE flexibles recycling infrastructure in Europe, the U.S., and Canada, in specific product applications. It can be used to produce a PE alternative to pearlized BOPP, overcoming compatibility and separation concerns and offering two other key benefits: enabling more plastics to be suitable for recycling and improving the quality of flexible post-consumer recyclate (PCR).
In Europe, the VO+ PE 1300 Series Voiding Agent technology is considered to be fully compatible with PE flexibles recycling according to RecyClass, provided the rest of the package is designed and produced under specific conditions. This means plastic packaging produced with it is compatible with the waste management chain, spanning collection, sorting, recycling, and the ability of the recycled material to be used again to produce similar applications.
In the U.S., the Association of Plastics Recyclers (APR) has recognized VOID’s 1300 Series as meeting or exceeding the most strict APR PE Critical Guidance criteria, speaking to the technical compatibility of this innovation with the most challenging PE recycling test conditions. This is based on the technical recyclability of films containing VOID’s voiding agent, in the PE film recycling stream.
Finally, How2Recycle has evaluated the specifics of the technology, and pre-qualified VOID’s new VO+ PE 1300 Series as Store Drop-off recyclable in the U.S. and Widely Recyclable in Canada (curbside).
“We continue to advance our cavitation technology to help the packaging industry meet material reduction and recyclability targets,” said James Gibson, Chief Executive Officer, VOID Technologies. “We have designed our VO+ voiding agents, and the films they produce, to easily fit into conventional processes used by converters and brands, enabling them to produce opaque packaging without the use of pigments that can present challenges for existing PCR separation systems.”
Now packaging converters and brands can use blown film with MDO to confidently produce PE-based flexible packaging and labels that are opaque and have the pearlized look of biaxially oriented polypropylene films (BOPP), knowing they can be recycled using typical PE recycling streams.
VOID’s VO+ cavitation technology can be used to manufacture high-opacity, cavitated PE films offering up to 35% material reduction through density reduction and downgauging. The easy-to-disperse masterbatch design enables packaging manufacturers to produce opaque flexible PE packaging using conventional equipment, helping to reduce the amount of plastic used and meets the density requirements for sink/float recycling separation systems.
 RecyClass has certified VO+ as fully compatible with European PE flexibles recycling provided that PE flexible packaging using this technology is designed only under the following conditions:
- The density of the PE film is below 0.97 g/cm3;
- The ‘VO+ PE 1300 Series Voiding Agent’ masterbatch represents less than 10.5% of the total weight of the film;
- The polyethylene content in the structure is higher than 93.5 wt.%;
- The amount of VO+ additive represents less than 6.3% of the total weight of the film;
- Any components or attachments to the packaging should be preferably made of clear PE;
Any additional component or features (inks, adhesives, …) of the packaging must be compliant with the corresponding RecyClass Design for Recycling Guidelines.
 APR Design® Preferred indicates that “the majority of the industry has the capability to identify, sort, and process a package exhibiting this feature with minimal, or no, negative effect on the productivity of the operation or final product quality. Packages with these features are likely to pass through the recycling process into the most appropriate material stream with the potential of producing high quality material.”
 How2Recycle designations of Store Drop-off recyclable in the US and Widely Recyclable in Canada (curbside) mean that anyone who lives near a Store Drop-off location (US) or has curbside pickup (CAN) that accepts plastic bags and wraps for recycling can take this packaging. Learn more about How2Recycle here: https://how2recycle.info/labels