ExxonMobil, Amcor & Syntegon’s full PE laminate solution in India

A recyclable* full PE laminate detergent packaging solution 

ExxonMobil, Amcor & Syntegon’s full PE laminate solution in India
ExxonMobil full PE laminated solution for sustainable packaging

ExxonMobil, collaborating with value chain partners Amcor India and Syntegon India, has developed a recyclable* full polyethylene (PE) laminated detergent packaging solution to replace existing PET/PE laminated packaging, which are not easy to recycle. The solution maintains mechanical and optical packaging performance required for detergents and was jointly developed with Amcor, a leading film converter, and Syntegon Technology India Private Limited, a leading supplier of packaging machines, . 

“Packaging recyclability has grown in importance in India in recent years with the publishing of Plastic Waste Management Rules in 2016, which require non-recyclable multi-layer packaging (MLP) to be phased out,” said Sita Parasuram, market developer, ExxonMobil. “With at least one layer of plastic combined with one or more layers of other materials such as paper, paper board, polymeric materials, metalized layers, or aluminum foil, MLPs can be difficult to mechanically recycle. ExxonMobil has helped to take on the challenge by replacing MLPs films with recyclable full PE laminated solutions for varying applications.”

Challenges in print, converting, filling, and sealing

Several challenges may need to be overcome in changing from a PET/PE laminate to a full PE laminated solution. These include ease of printing on PE substrates, a significant drop in packing line speeds, unsatisfactory optics, sealing requirement changes, and changes in machinery that can lead to high costs. 

“The challenge was to develop a technical solution for full PE laminates which maintained mechanical and optical performance while enabling the desired printing and packaging equipment line speeds,” said Nilesh Shah, technical advisor, ExxonMobil. “ExxonMobil leveraged a ‘design for recyclability’ approach to help drive the change in the packaging from a multi-material to a mono-material structure, in this case, a full PE solution.”

Working collaboratively, ExxonMobil, Amcor, and Syntegon developed a recyclable full PE laminated detergent packaging solution that maintains mechanical strength, seal integrity, and optical performance. Amcor produced the PE substrate/top film and the PE sealant film using ExxonMobil’s performance PE polymers ― including Exceed XP 8784, Exceed 2012, Exceed 1327, and ExxonMobil HDPE HTA 108 ― which ensure performance is maintained. Amcor then converted the films into laminates without modifying machinery. Syntegon converted these laminates into packs using vertical form fill seal (VFFS) machines modified to be poly heat seal friendly, so the packs were made without any challenges. 

PE laminated food application developed with Shrinath Rotopack

 “Naturally, we are delighted with the success of this collaboration with Amcor and Syntegon,” said Hari Gusain, manager of Area Sales, ExxonMobil. “It follows the recent introduction of another successful full PE laminated solution developed with Shrinath, another leading converter in India, and Syntegon, for salt packaging applications.” 

* Recyclable in communities with programs and facilities in place that collect and recycle plastic films.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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Editor of Indian Printer and Publisher since 1979 and Packaging South Asia since 2007. Trained as an offset printer and IBM 360 computer programmer. Active in the movement to implement Indian scripts for computer-aided typesetting. Worked as a consultant and trainer to the Indian print and newspaper industry. Visiting faculty of IDC at IIT Powai in the 1990s. Also founder of IPP Services, Training and Research and has worked as its principal industry researcher since 1999. Author of book: Miracle of Indian Democracy.


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