Dow, Vishakha & Dharmesh Foods to advance recyclable solutions for wheat packaging in India

The joint development further accelerates Dow's progress in recyclable packaging use in India
Dow and Vishakha developed the recyclable barrier film for Dharmesh Foods's vacuum-packing wheat
Dow and Vishakha developed the recyclable barrier film for Dharmesh Foods's vacuum-packing wheatPhoto - PRnewswire

Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (Dow P&SP) announced the advancement of a partnership with a local leading barrier film manufacturer, Vishakha Group, to develop a "Recyclable Barrier Film" for Solids packaging. These films will be used for the first time by Dharmesh Foods for vacuum-packing wheat.

Wheat is conventionally sold loose to consumers in India. As one of the recognized wheat processors in India, Dharmesh Foods is pushing the industry towards the use of vacuum-packed flexible packaging to increase shelf life and avoid contamination. According to the press release, Vishakha's Recyclable Barrier Films is ideal for the application, as it can extend shelf life, reduce food wastage, and is also recyclable.

Jigish Doshi, chairman and managing director of Vishakha Polyfab, said, "We at Vishakha always strive to contribute to the future of the country by developing sustainable solutions for agriculture, renewable energy, storage, and in this case, packaging materials that allow for longer shelf life. This recyclable barrier film solution will not only add to the shelf life of the product and reduce food waste, it also helps communities in allowing for recycling of the packaging itself."

Vipul Babu, sales director for Dow P&SP India SC, said, "The joint effort between Dow P&SP, Vishakha team, and Dharmesh Foods saw the three companies come together to co-develop a nylon-based barrier film enabled by Dow's RETAIN Compatibilizer to make recyclable packaging for wheat. This partnership brings valuable stakeholders together to foster positive impacts with sustainable packaging solutions."

RETAIN Polymer Modifiers were developed using Dow's extensive knowledge of materials science and reactive chemistry to enable the efficient compatibilization of two otherwise immiscible materials while maintaining critical value-added physical properties. RETAIN is designed to compatibilized polyamide (nylon) and ethylene-vinyl alcohol (EVOH) into a continuous polyethylene matrix.

This innovative technology is based on a reactive, ultra-low viscosity compatibilizer. Reactive groups "coat" the polar components, encapsulating them into micro-domains to enable excellent dispersion. When blended at specified ratios with pelletized barrier film recycling streams, the RETAIN polymers allow recyclers to re-process used barrier films into conventional polyethylene-based recycling streams.

Dharmesh Thakkar, the owner of Dharmesh Foods, said, "We're committed to securing a healthy and sustainable future for India. Our partnership with Dow P&SP and Vishakha allows us to use state-of-the-art recyclable barrier films, ensuring the better taste and increased shelf life. This is a significant breakthrough for the wheat industry, which can offer our customers better quality of daily life, as well as providing environmental benefits."

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