Wrapid Manufacturing Ltd - Dupont RPET film

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DuPont rPET film

DuPont Teijin are world leaders in top seal lidding technology.

The company was established on 1 January 2020 as a 50:50 joint venture. Now DuPont boasts 58,000 employees and $26 billion in sales.

Alongside this, Teijin makes $8 billion in sales and employs 18,000 people.

What are DuPont Teijin Films?

DuPont Teijin Films are the world’s leader in producing PET (Polyethylene terephthalate ) and PEN (Polyethylene naphthalate) polyester films.

They specialise in producing film products and other services for industries including Photovoltaics, Imaging Media, Durable Labels, Packaging, Healthcare, Flexible Electronics, Electrical Insulation and Capacitors.

DuPont Teijin films are committed to polyester and the circular economy.

Just the film company alone now employs 2,375 people, has an impressive global turnover of $600 million and operates from sites in Europe, the USA and China.

The global volume of film produced amounts to around 150,000 tones, boasts six manufacturing locations and can be found in all major regions of the world.

What features do DuPont Teijin Films have?

The film’s manufacturing width is 3 to 9 metres and its thickness ranges from 0.5 microns to 500 microns.

It has a slit width ranging from a few millimetres to 3 metres.

Reel lengths can reach up to 48 metres, depending on the thickness, and 4 billion square metres is the annual capacity of the company.

The appearance of the film varies. It may look like any of the following: transparent, hazy, white, black, metalised.

Who distributes the film?

A polyester heritage

DuPont began its first-ever commercial BOPET (biaxially-oriented polyethene terephthalate) line in the US in 1954. Just under 20 years later, it produced the first commercial in-line, co-extruded heat sealable films.

The company’s next landmark achievement came in 1984 in the form of the launch of the UK’s first ready meal using Mylar OL as the film lidding.

Then, more recently, in 2007, was the launch of the world’s first food contact approved BOPET film with PCR content.

In the very next year, 2008, the UK market began using Mylar as the top seal solution for strawberries. Two years later, in 2010, Mono PET tray and lid structures started being used in large parts of the protein market.

Almost a decade on from that, in 2019, Mylar continues to be the world’s largest producer of heat-sealable BOPET.

Sustainable products

These films contribute to the circular economy by being sustainable and recyclable.

The circle is very simple.

Care is taken over where materials come from at the creation stage. DuPont Teijin promotes the environmental credentials of rPET. It is commercialising a range of films with high rPET content made using LuxCR process.

The next stage of consideration is the performance during the life of the product. A wide range of Mylar and Melinex films covering a wide range of applications from mono PET recyclable packaging structures to technically advanced long-life industrial applications are used on products.

Then it is the end of life – but not the end of the material’s journey. With the growth of mono PET packaging solutions and proven recyclability of filmic material, the film can enter the circular economy and be used again. DuPont Teijin also run feasibility studies into PIR schemes with customers.

Mylar and Melinex rPET films

This was initially launched in 2019 across a wide range of flexible packaging applications. There are still ongoing trials in non-packaging markets.

It targets up to 50% rPET (recycled Polyethylene terephthalate) content. The Mylar rPET lidding film range targets up to 50% PCR (Post Consumer Recycled) content. It also utilises rPET flake sourced from European deposit return schemes.

Currently, rPET is sourced from DRS (Deposit Return) schemes in Northern Europe.

By using these materials there is an estimated carbon footprint reduction of 1.4kg for every 1kg of virgin material displaced.

The benefits of LuxCR chemical depolymerisation

LuxCR chemical depolymerisation is the unique process of depolymerising recycled PET back to BHET. It upcycles mechanically recycled PET.

It has multiple benefits:

- Depolymerisation reverses the thermal degradation that occurs through multiple mechanical recycling processes.
- Mechanical recycling has food contact limitations for some raw material streams and in certain applications.
- Recycled BHET (bis(2-hydroxyethylterephthalate) is chemically indistinguishable from virgin material enabling use in multiple high end, long-life applications.
- Potentially opens up wider range of raw materials in the future including rPET from trays or film.