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Avient Joint Study with Borealis Reveals Wide Range of Color Options for Recycled Plastics

October 18, 2022
Borealis

© Borealis: Insights obtained in a study performed jointly by Avient and Borealis help customers take full advantage of the broad range of color matching options for post-consumer recyclates (PCR).

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  • Insights obtained in the joint application study help customers take full advantage of the broad range of color-matching options for post-consumer recyclates (PCR)  
  • The use of PCR material grades from the Borcycle™ M portfolio from Borealis in tandem with specifically developed formulations from the Avient OnColor™ portfolio can help achieve a desired color effect with low levels of colorant addition and good detectability in the sorting process 
  • Value chain collaboration in the spirit of EverMinds™, the Borealis Circular economy collaboration platform, supports progress toward the promise of plastics circularity 

DÜSSELDORF, Germany – October 18, 2022 – Avient and Borealis today announced the results of a new joint study for the upcoming K 2022 Trade Fair. The study addresses the challenges of color matching in PCR for rigid packaging, offering options that can create global color consistency, quality, and circularity.  

In 2018, Borealis launched EverMinds™, an umbrella platform uniting its activities and initiatives aimed at advancing action on circularity. Bridging from the EverMinds™ platform, Borealis and Avient recently completed a joint application study investigating how to optimize color matching when using post-consumer recycled material (PCR) in rigid packaging applications. Insights obtained from the joint study will help value chain partners and customers take advantage of the wide range of color options that can be enabled by the use of Borcycle™ M compounds (mechanically recycled polyolefins) from Borealis and color solutions from Avient for even the most sophisticated application requirements. 

Why Avient and Borealis undertook this study 

In order to enhance the sustainability of rigid packaging, the industry is seeking ways to incorporate higher amounts of PCR into its products without compromising on functionality or shelf appeal. Keeping in mind that color is a key element of a pleasing appearance, the recyclate’s intrinsic color-matching properties are more limited compared to virgin polymers. In addition, the market availability of PCR in light and natural tones is equally limited. Moreover, coloring processes for dark recycled material can be challenging due to the need for high amounts of colorant to overcome the PCR base color. 

Key takeaways from the research 

The joint study demonstrated that using certain components together from both companies can more consistently produce a wide range of color options for PCR material without having to add high levels of colorant. Those components include Borcycle M 100% recycled polypropylene (rPP) from Borealis in tandem with colorant formulations from Avient along with Avient’s PCR Color Prediction Service, which could digitally illustrate the colorant formulations that are possible. Plus, the color formulations have been specifically developed for use with PCR without disturbing detectability in the sorting process. 

Another key discovery from the study: If colorant must be added to the base material to achieve the desired color, the addition of color concentrate can be low (around 2%). The higher translucency of Borcycle M compounds is one facilitating factor in better color matching, thanks to the materials’ good light transmission and color absorption. The study also demonstrated that using Borcycle M grades along with Avient’s OnColor™ near-infrared (NIR) detectable colorants can produce a recyclable, neutral black which enables better automatic sorting for recycling. This solution helps to prevent downcycling of darker and black PCRs based on their color and maintains their value in the recycling stream. 

“We’re pleased to be able to use the findings of this joint study to assist our value chain partners and customers in making informed decisions about the best color matching options for their own rigid packaging applications,” says Peter Voortmans, Global Commercial Director Consumer Products at Borealis. “The more aesthetically appealing the pack, the more likely it is that the consumer will choose the more circular option. At Borealis, this is what we mean by re-inventing essentials for sustainable living.” 

“A cornerstone of our sustainability strategy at Avient is to use material science and our design expertise to enable our customers’ sustainability goals,” explains Jan Sültemeyer, Global Innovation and Sustainability Manager at Avient. “This collaborative study with Borealis is one way in which we can transfer our know-how to our value chain partners to help with closing the loop on plastics circularity.” 

K 2022, the world’s largest plastics industry event, will take place from 19 to 26 October 2022 in Düsseldorf, Germany. For more information, visit www.k-online.com

Borealis invites you to “Innovate Collaborate Accelerate” by visiting Borealis and Borouge in Hall 6 at Stand A43. 

Avient welcomes visitors to booth G10 in Hall 8A and its Collaboration Café. Please visit Avient’s press hub for further information on our content for K 2022. 

About Avient 

Avient Corporation (NYSE: AVNT) provides specialized and sustainable material solutions that transform customer challenges into opportunities, bringing new products to life for a better world. Examples include: 

  • Unique technologies that improve the recyclability of products and enable recycled content to be incorporated, thus advancing a more circular economy 
  • Light-weighting solutions that replace heavier traditional materials like metal, glass and wood, which can improve fuel efficiency in all modes of transportation and reduce carbon footprint 
  • Sustainable infrastructure solutions that increase energy efficiency, renewable energy, natural resource conservation and fiber optic / 5G network accessibility 

Avient is certified ACC Responsible Care®, a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste and certified Great Place to Work®.  For more information, visit www.avient.com

To access Avient’s news library online, please visit www.avient.com/news

About Borealis  

Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and sustainable polyolefin solutions and a European front-runner in polyolefins recycling. In Europe, we are a market leader in base chemicals and fertilizers. We leverage our polymer expertise and decades of experience to offer value adding, innovative and circular material solutions for key industries such as consumer products, energy, healthcare, infrastructure and mobility. 

In re-inventing essentials for sustainable living, we build on our commitment to safety, our people, innovation and technology, and performance excellence. We are accelerating the transformation to a circular economy of polyolefins and expanding our geographical footprint to better serve our customers around the globe.

With head offices in Vienna, Austria, we employ 6,900 employees and operate in over 120 countries. In 2021, we generated total sales of EUR 12.342 EUR billion and a net profit of EUR 1,396 million. OMV, the Austria-based international oil and gas company, owns 75% of our shares, while the remaining 25% is owned by a holding company of the Abu-Dhabi based Mubadala. We supply services and products to customers around the globe through Borealis and two important joint ventures: Borouge (with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or ADNOC, based in UAE); and Baystar™  
(with TotalEnergies, based in the US). www.borealisgroup.com  | www.borealiseverminds.com 

About Borouge 

Borouge, listed on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX symbol “BOROUGE” / ISIN “AEE01072B225”), is a leading petrochemical company that provides innovative and differentiated polyolefin solutions for the energy, infrastructure, mobility, advanced packaging, healthcare and agriculture industries. ADNOC owns a majority 54% stake and Borealis holds a 36% stake in Borouge. 

To find out more, visit: borouge.com 

# # # 

Media contacts:
Virginia Wieser 
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Brand & Reputation 
tel.: +43 1 22 400 772 (Vienna, Austria) 
media@borealisgroup.com 

Media contact
Nicole DeChant 
Avient Corporation 
nicole.dechant@avient.com  

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