Stand-up pouches continue to proliferate on the market shelf, appealing to consumers and retailers alike due to their convenience and aesthetics. Shoppers also want more of their packaging to be environmentally friendly, and the two demands have traditionally been at odds.

Because most pouches are made of a variety of materials, they are challenging to recycle, more so if those pouches need to offer barrier properties to prevent food spoilage. This need drove Dow Chemical to develop its new RecycleReady technology.

Created in collaboration with the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) and other industry members, RecycleReady technology enables the recycling of packaging for products like granola and nuts, which was not possible before in flexible packaging. The stand-up pouch incorporates RETAIN polymer modifiers, which allow the barrier film to be recycled in a polyethylene recycling stream. When combined with other polyethylene resins, the RETAIN compatibilizer offers a recyclable solution with enhanced barrier characteristics.

RecycleReady allows converters to produce recyclable packaging with ingredients that ensure barrier protection, along with stiffness, toughness and sealability of the package. These recyclable flexible pouches incorporate multiple layers, but use only polyethylene as the basic raw material. Additionally, the technology has been approved by the SPC’s How2Recycle program and allowed to use the store drop-off label, a tag indicating the packaging can be recycled at participating local retail and grocery stores.

“This technology possesses the properties of a multilayer pouch, but behaves like a pure polyethylene bag in the recycling stream,” says Kelly Cramer, Sustainable Packaging Coalition project manager.

For more information:

The Dow Chemical Company, 800-441-4369,