Several manufacturers in Latin American have implemented the microfoaming technology as part of Dow’s program to mitigate the carbon footprint of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
Microfoaming is a licensed technology that reduces the weight of plastic films and packages. It helps manufacturers reduce greenhouse gasses through more efficient production methods and improvements in plastic films, Dow says.
Dow’s microfoaming technology enables lightweighting in coextruded films through physical foaming. This allows manufacturers to produce more packaging material using the same amount of resin.
Dow says the microfoaming technology also improves packaging performance by producing better seals and making the material stronger and abuse resistant. While Dow says microfoamed packaging is ideal for the food industry — which is increasingly focusing on sustainable packaging — the technology can also be used to develop flexible packaging for collation shrink, cosmetic, hygiene and cleaning sectors. Applications include stand-up pouches, laminated PE, PE PET, PE and BOPP films. Additional uses include reduced pigment load films, FFS (fill, form and seal) packaging, heavy duty shipping sacks, soft good overwrap packaging and detergent pouches.
The technology is being implemented in partnership with manufacturers located in Brazil (Valfilm), Argentina (Petropack), Mexico (Folmex), Colombia and Guatemala (Plastilene) as well as MuCell Extrusion, an equipment manufacturer for extrusion products and Dow’s exclusive collaborator for the foamed film technology.
Dow says it is working with external partners to quantify the expected reductions in carbon emissions from this process. After verification by independent auditors, the results along with those from the other projects being implemented in Brazil and Latin America, will be applied toward the mitigation of Rio 2016’s carbon footprint.
Besides mitigating carbon emissions from the organization and delivery of the Olympic Games — 500,000 tons of CO2 equivalent — Dow and Rio 2016 are working to generate additional climate benefits of 1.5 million CO2 equivalents by 2026, intended for other emissions linked to the Olympics.
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