LLDPE’s Characteristics Suit Food Packaging and Other Applications
The desirable characteristics of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) have made it a go-to polymer for converters, particularly for a broad cross-section of food packaging applications. But this versatile polymer offers other potential opportunities for converters, too.
Food Packaging, Films and Beyond
LLDPE is commonly found in stretch film, coalition shrink wrap, stretch hooders, pouches, produce bags, freezer films, and many other food packaging products, with converters competing to produce both lighter packaging offerings that meet evolving consumer and brand demands.
The food packaging market for LLDPE films is well-established, robust and still growing at an appreciable rate.
That’s certainly no mystery, as polyethylene helps maximize shelf life, provides tamper resistance and meets consumer expectations for sanitary plastic packaging. Still, for converters looking to branch out, there are a growing number of additional opportunities.
Converters looking to expand their LLDPE-based offerings can rest assured in Shell Polymers’ ability to deliver resins that will run properly on their film extrusion, injection molding, blow molding and rotomolding machines.
Click here to see the numerous grades of LLDPE suited to food and beverage applications that Shell Polymers will be manufacturing in its new Monaca, Pennsylvania polyethylene plant.
Non-food LLDPE films: Protecting Plants, Carpets, and Clothes
Together, food and non-food films comprise an estimated 80% of the LLDPE market.1 What kinds of film applications fall within the latter?
LLDPE is used to make products such as:
- Greenhouse sheeting for covering plants and lining walls
- Carpet and garment protective covers
- Geomembranes and liners used for retention ponds, landfills, and construction sites
Converters and brands in those markets are increasingly drawn to LLDPE’s characteristics:
- It’s soft and flexible, but with high tensile strength and impact resistance
- It’s resistant to chemicals, environmental stress cracks, and punctures
- It has good heat-sealing qualities
In fact, a recent report cited agriculture and construction, in addition to food packaging, as key demand drivers for LLDPE growth, with sales expected to reach nearly $86 billion by 2028.2
Shell Polymers Is Ready to Help Converters Pursue New Lines
No matter what kind of machines you’re running LLDPE on now or planning to in the future, Shell Polymers is ready to help.
Our new Monaca, Pennsylvania polyethylene plant’s Application Hall features commercial-scale equipment that helps our team qualify resins and ensure they will run smoothly on converters’ own equipment.
Our equipment – which include three Alpine blown film lines and three KraussMaffei injection molding machines, two blow molding machines and a pipe extrusion line – will also be available to our customers to collaborate with us on trials.
Customers will benefit from working with Shell Polymers’ highly experienced team of Polymer Pioneers & Pros.
Outsourcing trials to our new facility also saves converters the cost of reducing their own production capacity in order to make room for testing and troubleshooting.
Plus, converters can trust the results from our machines, which are similar to those used by leaders in the industry today.