• A milestone in the recyclability of plastics

    A milestone in the recyclability of plastics

    On 2 February 2021, a truck filled with crude oil, which was recovered by chemically recycling reusable materials from SÜDPACK, left the RECENSO pilot plant in Ennigerloh near Münster. The goal of the strategic collaboration is to take reusable materials that cannot currently be mechanically recycled and recycle them on an industrial scale using the CARBOLIQ process to recover raw materials and consequently close further loops in the packaging industry. 

  • Theoretical maximum for recycling of plastic packaging is scientifically substantiated

    Theoretical maximum for recycling of plastic packaging is scientifically substantiated

    News: 

    This research is highly relevant to all stakeholders as most of them strive for higher recycling rates to reduce the environmental impact of plastic waste. Ideally, plastic food packaging is recycled into new packaging. But only limited types of packaging are suitable for circular recycling, most can only be recycled for non-food applications, and others cannot be recycled at all .

    All stakeholders will have to take drastic and coordinated action
    The situation in 2017 was described in detail as a baseline measurement. The Dutch recycling value chain for plastic packaging waste was relatively well developed globally in 2017. The recycling rate was approximately 37% in 2017. In addition, the average polymer purity of the recycled plastics in 2017 was only 93%. To move beyond this status quo, all improvement measures were modeled in a complex material flow analysis model.

    First of all, all packaging types were systematically redesigned for recycling. Czech American packaging machine manufacturer Viking Masek packs emotions | Empack Den Bosch 2021 where all packaging components have been optimized.
    Second, collection and mechanical recovery rates were increased to the maximum levels achieved.
    Third, the transfer coefficients of the best available recycling technologies were selected and the entire model was rerun. This leads to a total recycling percentage of 72%. The average polymer purity of the recycled plastics is 97%.
    In such an ideal circular value chain, more recycled plastics are produced that are suitable for more demanding applications, such as food packaging, compared to the 2017 value chain. However, this requires all stakeholders to implement drastic and coordinated measures, which mean unprecedented investments. , with which this optimal circular recycling value chain for plastic packaging can be realized. In addition, this optimized recycling chain is still largely based on the use of crude oil as raw material and the use of a lot of recyclate in non-food contact applications.

  • A seagrass type can catch and remove plastics from the ocean, says study

    A seagrass type can catch and remove plastics from the ocean, says study

    News: 

    A species of seagrass, named Posidonia oceanica, has the ability to catch and remove plastics from the ocean, according to researchers at the University of Barcelona.

    The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, describes the role of the Posidonia as a filter and trap for plastics in coastal areas.

    Because of this, it’s seen as a pioneering natural mechanism to take and remove these materials from the sea.

    As part of the study, the team analysed the trapping and extraction of plastic in great seagrasses of the Posidonia on the coasts of Majorca.

    Anna Sànchez-Vidal, a researcher at the Department of Ocean and Earth Dynamics at the University of Barcelona, said: “Everything suggests that plastics are trapped in the Posidonia seagrass. In the grasslands, the plastics are incorporated to agglomerates of natural fibre with a ball shape – aegagropila or Posidonia Neptune balls – which are expulsed from the marine environment during storms.

    “According to the analyses, the trapped microplastics in the prairies of the Posidonia oceanica are mainly filaments, fibres and fragments of polymers which are denser than the seawater such as polyethylene terephthalate (PET).”

     

    An estimated 1,470 plastics are taken per kilogramme of Posidonia oceanica seagrass, says study
    Typically Posidonia aegagropila – which is a type of algae – are expelled from the prairies – a type of grassland – during periods of strong waves and a part ends up piled in the beaches.

    And, although there are no studies that quantify the amount of aegagropilae expelled from the marine environment, it’s estimated that about 1,470 plastics are taken per kilogramme of plant fibre.

    These amounts are significantly higher than those captured through leaves or sand.

    Sànchez-Vidal added: “we cannot completely know the magnitude of this plastic export to the land.

    However, first estimations reveal that Posidonia balls could catch up to 867 million plastics per year.”

  • Mondi set to revolutionise European paper-based shopping bag market with start-up of new speciality kraft paper machine

    Mondi set to revolutionise European paper-based shopping bag market with start-up of new speciality kraft paper machine

    Mondi’s new paper machine at its Czech mill in Štětí is dedicated to producing 100% recyclable speciality kraft paper for shopping bags using a combination of fresh and recycled fibres to prioritise sustainability without compromising on strength
    The €67 million investment responds to growing consumer preference and legislative change to reduce plastic waste and demonstrates the company's commitment to supporting the circular economy 

  • ‘Goood’ results for Interquell with Mondi’s paper-based FlexiBags: packaging made from renewable materials, reducing plastic and CO2 footprint

    ‘Goood’ results for Interquell with Mondi’s paper-based FlexiBags: packaging made from renewable materials, reducing plastic and CO2 footprint

    Mondi creates sustainable paper-based packaging for Goood, Interquell’s sustainable alternative to organic pet food brands
    By using packaging made from renewable resources, Mondi reduces plastic usage and CO2 footprint with innovative paper-based FlexiBags
    Collaborative approach means Mondi supports Interquell in meeting their sustainability commitments

    15 January 2021 – Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, is launching two new paper-based bags for German pet food producer Interquell, delivering both consumer convenience and sustainability benefits.

  • ECOGRIP DELIVERS THE SUSTAINABLE MULTI-PACKING OF BOTTLES

    ECOGRIP DELIVERS THE SUSTAINABLE MULTI-PACKING OF BOTTLES

    100% recyclable corrugate
    Sustainable alternative to single-use plastic
    Complete solution for bottle multi-packs
    Blue Box Partners, the pan-European Alliance of suppliers for corrugated board packaging solutions, has launched ECOGRIP, a corrugated alternative to shrink wrap for the multi-packing of a wide range of bottles that builds on the growing consumer demand for sustainable packaging. 

  • Mondi celebrates eight wins at the 2021 WorldStar Packaging awards

    Mondi celebrates eight wins at the 2021 WorldStar Packaging awards

    12 January 2021 – Mondi, a global leader in sustainable packaging and paper, received eight awards in three categories at this year's WorldStar Packaging awards. In this annual competition of the World Packaging Organisation, judges from 55 countries recognised achievements in packaging innovation and technologies worldwide, with a focus on sustainability, product protection and end-user convenience. 

  • Bundling and packaging matchboxes

    Bundling and packaging matchboxes

    News: 

    Paper or film bands hold matchboxes and other small boxes securely together and help to reduce packaging material. In an automated packaging line, a banding system certainly also takes over automatic size recognition via sensors, stacking as well as feeding and forwarding, if required

  • What is banding?

    What is banding?

    News: 

    Do you know the tapes printed with "Action" that bundle several products into multipacks in the supermarket? Or the transparent bands that hold together the different sized goods ordered online in the shipping carton? Do you take all the information about zucchinis, bananas or apples in cardboard trays that you buy in the vegetable section at retail from printed bands? Are you familiar with the bands that hold together stacked printed items, cardboard or corrugated cardboard in such a way that the edges of the fragile products are not damaged? Or have you ever bought convenience food or other products where a double-side printed band up to 100 mm wide, for example, holds a tray packaging securely together and at the same time takes care of all the communication around the product? That - and much more - is banding.

    How banding works
    In banding, a band of paper or film up to 100 mm wide is placed around one or more products by a banding machine and welded with the use of a sonotrode with ultra-sonic technology or, in fewer cases, with a hot wedge. Glue or other adhesives are not used. The continuously adjustable tension of the band varies depending on the properties of the product or application. It reacts to the resistance of the product to be banded. For soft and fragile products, the band tension is alternatively controlled by a fixed length or soft length. Also possible: Sensors measure the product to be banded and automatically adjust the band length. This variant is used, for example, when banding mail packages of different sizes that are fed to the banding machine by a conveyor belt (end-of-line automation).

    Printed and unprinted bands
    Depending on the application, bands are used unprinted, printed on one or both sides in advance using the flexographic printing process, and additionally or exclusively printed with a thermal transfer printer during banding. While the flexographic printing process focuses on the branding of the product, thermal transfer printing is used to print variable information such as the producer, the best-before date, the batch number, the weight or a bar code. Printed bands therefore also replace labels. Unprinted bands are often used in intralogistics when logistical units have to be formed to simplify processes.

    Different banding machines for different applications
    Depending on the production volume and requirements, different banding machines are used: mobile stand-alone models or fully automatic banding machines integrated into the production line.

    In the simpler standalone models, the banding process is usually triggered manually (e.g. via a foot pedal).
     
    In automated applications, sensors and I/O or bus-based interfaces come into play. Example: A robot holds the product to be banded in the banding machine, the sensor confirms the presence of the product and the banding process is triggered via the interface.
     
    In fully automatic applications, the banding process is triggered by a PLC (programmable logic controller). Depending on the application, the process is optimized by different signals and factors. Depending on the machine design and the system concept, a performance of up to 300 products per minute or 100 banding processes per minute can be achieved.
    Banding is environmentally friendly
    Banding stands for "only as much packaging as necessary". Bands often replace shrink films or sleeves, thereby significantly reducing plastic and material consumption. Ultrasonic banding machines are also extremely energy-efficient and thus help to reduce CO2 emissions. Because a banding machine with integrated thermal transfer printer also replaces the labeling machine, additional material and energy can be saved depending on the application. In most countries, bands made of coated paper are recycled via the paper cycle. If the band has to be made of paper, but the proportion of foreign material must not exceed 5%, our partially coated paper is used. Bands made of film are made of pure and high-quality PP, HDPE or PLA. The amount of recycled material is at least 20% for all foils. The thinnest film (FTU) has a thickness of 50 my. All banding films are considered mono-material and are 100% recyclable.

    Banding stands for frustration-free packaging
    Banding not only reduces plastic and packaging material, but also stands for frustration-free packaging. Bands can be opened by hand without any problems: Either at the weld seam in the case of bands made of film or at any position in the case of bands made of paper. Amazon shows what constitutes frustration-free packaging and how important it is in the video Frustration Free Packaging.

  • Unilever and Alibaba launch recycling machines featuring artificial intelligence

    Unilever and Alibaba launch recycling machines featuring artificial intelligence

    News: 

    The initiative, Waste Free World, is the first of its type and could accelerate the process of returning high grade plastic back into a closed-loop recycling system.

    There are currently 20 of the recycling machines installed in offices and community spaces in Shanghai and Hangzhou.

    During the course of 2021, 500 of the deposit machines will be put into market, mainly in the Shanghai and Hangzhou area, collecting up to 500 tonnes of plastic.

    The project will also contribute to changing consumer behaviour through the incentive of Unilever coupons and AliPay rewards.

    The system works by:

    • Customers scan the QR code on the bottle they want to recycle before placing it into the machine.
    • The AI technology identifies the type of plastic and sorts it accordingly.
    • The bottle’s recycled plastic granules will then be applied to the packaging of future Unilever products, before going back on shelf.

    Rohit Jawa, executive vice president of North Asia, Unilever, said plastic has its place, but should not cause environmental pollution.

    “By 2025, we will make an absolute reduction of 100,000 tons in plastic use and promote the use of recyclable plastic, so that we can halve the amount of virgin plastic we use in packaging and help collect and process more plastic packaging than we sell. We believe WASTE FREE WORLD jointly launched with Alibaba Group will become the ‘green engine’ of the circular economy for plastic packaging in China.”

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