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“Green” FFS films developed according to customer specifications

RKW manufactures FFS films based on renewable resources for Braskem

Frankenthal, Germany, October 13, 2015RKW, a leading supplier of high-quality plastic films and nonwovens, has developed a new formulation for FFS (Form, Fill and Seal) films that consists of more than 50 percent “green” polymers in response to specific requirements of its customer Braskem. Compared to conventional FFS films, this new solution offers substantial environmental benefits in terms of lower carbon emissions and obtains the same technical performance characteristics. Starting in September 2015, RKW delivers the “green” FFS films to the German Braskem sites in Schkopau and Wesseling.

The world market for bioplastic materials is growing rapidly, as industries and end consumers are looking for sustainable products that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A major player in the bioplastics market is the Brazilian chemical company Braskem, which pioneers in producing Green Polyethylene (PE) – a thermoplastic resin made from sugarcane-based ethanol instead of crude oil. Sugarcane is a renewable and carbon dioxide depleting resource and it absorbs CO2 while growing. Braskem conducted a unique study in partnership with its suppliers to assess the environmental impact of the Green Polyethylene - I’m green™. The results of the life cycle analysis study from cradle to Braskem’s gate indicate that the biopolymer made from ethanol captures 2.15 metric tons of CO2 for every metric ton of green plastic produced. Additionally, Green PE is 100 percent recyclable in existing streams. As a viable alternative to traditional fossil-fuel derived materials, Green PE combines high performance and excellent processability.

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Green FFS (Form, Fill and Seal) films for industrial applications:
On demand of Braskem, RKW developed environmentally friendly FFS films
for bags that offer the same performance characteristics as traditional materials.

RKW and Braskem joined forces to develop a sustainable solution In Germany, Braskem operates manufacturing sites in Schkopau and Wesseling, where it produces high-quality polypropylene. For many years, RKW has been supplying Braskem with FFS films that are applied for filling bulk materials at these two sites. The new “green” FFS films are manufactured at the RKW site in Echte and can be processed as tubes or flat films off the role on all standard FFS machines for various packaging configurations. In order to raise awareness of Green PE and to improve its own sustainability performance, Braskem partnered with RKW to develop this more climate-friendly solution for the FFS films with more than 50 percent Green Polymers in its composition.

“Braskem is committed to increase sustainability along the production chains by providing bio-based materials”, says Srivatsan Iyer – CEO & General Manager, Braskem Europe GmbH. “Since RKW is a flexible partner that is always open to new ideas, we asked for a new formulation for FFS films with a high content of Green Polymers. RKW could rely on its technical expertise to come up with a sustainable packaging solution that meets our requirements completely.”

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At its plant in Triunfo/Brazil, Braskem produces polyethylene
from sugarcane ethanol with a capacity of 200,000 metric tons annually.


“The challenge was to formulate a product that is composed of more than 50 percent Green Polymers and, at the same time, offering the same technical features as the traditional FFS films,” explains Johannes Heintges, VP Operations Packaging, RKW SE. “Usually, you have a construction kit of approximately ten components that can be combined. In this case, the share of “green” polymers was explicitly predefined. Given this requirement, our application engineers had to figure out a way to create a formulation without any trade-offs in terms of quality and technical characteristics.”

The new FFS films passed all acceptance tests successfully. Since September 2015, the entire delivery of FFS films to Braskem’s sites in Schkopau and Wesseling has been switched to the green solution. Furthermore, the I’m green™ logo has been added to the artwork of the FFS films to enhance the visibility of this sustainable solution and help users identify the value of renewable resources.

About RKW Group
The RKW Group is one of the leading international manufacturers of high-quality plastic films and nonwovens. On an annual basis, more than 3,000 employees process over 420,000 tons of plastic materials in 23 locations around the world. The RKW Group offers a broad range of product and service solutions in films and nonwovens for the hygiene and medical field, for the converting industry, for industrial and consumer packaging as well as for the agricultural and construction sectors. For almost 60 years, the RKW Group has been setting standards in terms of quality, innovation, and service from which our local and global customers benefit. The independent, family-owned company generated sales of 940 million euros in 2014.

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