We hear a lot about the potential for chemical recycling of plastics – but realistically, it will be a long time before this becomes a commercial reality. The infrastructure for mechanical recycling, on the other hand, is already in place. According to CEFLEX, it’s a matter of ‘unlocking the full environmental and economic potential’ of this technology.
Collaborating together in the Sustainable End Markets workstream, Quality Recycling Process envisaged by CEFLEX stakeholders aims to deliver recycled polymers for more higher-value end market applications than are currently commercially available. A new e-booklet draws on interviews, presentations and processes to explore and profile the process from several perspectives and give insights from those who have rigorously tested its potential.
Speaking about the potential of this process from the brand owner perspective, Gareth Callan, PepsiCo Sustainability Packaging Manager, R&D, said: “The Quality Recycling Process is enabling us to engage with multiple organisations to achieve the common goal of a circular future for flexible packaging. Through the process we hope to see scale sorting and re-processing of packaging materials which will help make recycling more economically feasible. In addition we are hoping to see advancement in the sorting process to ensure more packaging materials can be identified and redirected to a second use.”
The CEFLEX workstream is now moving forward into industrial trials to build the business case for investment in the infrastructure which it says can leverage this process into a mainstream solution to keep the materials in the economy at the highest value possible.
The Quality Recycling Process Action Team run the technical ‘proof of concept’ for household collected post-consumer flexible packaging Post-Consumer Waste (PCR) which demonstrates:
- Recycling back to a wider range of non-food flexible packaging is possible – including more demanding applications through mechanical recycling via the Quality Recycling Process.
- The Quality Recycling Process produces film grade quality rPE and rPP polymers appropriate for non-food flexible packaging by applying near infrared (NIR) sorting by polymer and color, followed by hot washing and extrusion with extra filtration and deodorization.
- As a ‘real breakthrough’, film grade recyclates for natural rPE and all color rPP can be obtained at good product yield and quality and with mechanical and processing properties (i.e. film extrusion process) which make these materials suitable for replacement of virgin polymer grades.
Data from industrial trials running in 2020-21 will assess the economic viability of the process and a business case for investment in necessary infrastructure.
The company said the move will see 180 tonnes of plastic removed from the environment every single year.
The new, fully recyclable, packaging is made from cardboard, removing 15 million individual pieces of plastic annually.
Kim Smet, interim general manager, Mars Petcare said: “At Mars Petcare we’re on a mission to future proof the growing pet population and industry. The switch from shrink-wrap to cardboard is an important step in helping us achieve our goal of 100% recyclable packaging by 2025. We know that over the past year alone the UK’s pet population has sky-rocketed to an all-time high, tipping 20m dogs and cats – nearly a third of the size of the UK human population, so as an industry our sustainability efforts must reflect this and improve, at speed, to create the world we want tomorrow.”
The move is the latest commitment to circularity from Mars Petcare, who in July announced a recycling programme with Pets at Home which saw dedicated in-store recycling points for pet food packaging introduced across 40 UK stores.
Additional changes in 2021 saw Pedigree Schmackos packaging reduced by 12 per cent, while all Dreamies 60g packs became thinner, leading to a combined 27.6 tonnes of virgin plastic saved in the UK. Further to this, Mars Petcare joined Asda in their trial of in-store refill zones and provided the first pet care offering with products from popular Mars brands, Whiskas and Pedigree.
The new packaging will be widely available in stores from 11 September 2021.
The Greater Chennai Corporation is likely to order restaurants and eateries to use banana leaves instead of plastic for packaging food, based on recommendations by private conservancy operators. The number of food business operators using plastic packaging is estimated to be 20,000.
The civic body had sought suggestions from private conservancy operators to improve solid waste management and prevent plastic pollution. They suggested various measures to improve source segregation and reduce waste in landfills.
Upon studying the models of solid waste management in cities such as Tokyo and Dubai, a private conservancy operator suggested using better technology, implementing stringent policies and raising awareness among citizens to reduce landfill tonnage to 20%, similar to that of Tokyo. While Dubai has reduced the quantity of waste in landfills to 30%, in Chennai it is still at 85%. The Corporation is planning to launch a campaign to promote source segregation in households and commercial establishments.
Former Corporation floor leader V. Sukumar Babu said at least 150 commercial outlets were using plastic packaging materials to sell food in each of the wards. “The Corporation should raise awareness about using banana leaves as packaging material in eateries. Residents will support the move, but the eatery staff may need proper orientation from the Health Department. The Corporation should resume training sessions for food handlers to improve public health,” he said. Some suggestions by private conservancy operators, like micro-composting meat waste, are unlikely to be implemented as residents have protested against the move due to the stench it creates.
Proposals for incinerators in each zone will not be accepted due to air pollution. Imposition of penalties on households that fail to segregate waste will not be implemented since the Corporation plans to incentivise source segregation, an official said.
Utilized for Well Body foot cream from Steinfels, Neopac’s DigitAll360° offers intuitive ordering of digitally printed tubes with high-quality variable printing, precision color matching, flexible batch sizes and expedited delivery.
It will be sourced from bottles, pots, tubs and trays to manufacture new rPET food packaging products at the thermoforming packaging specialist’s Arklow production site.
Not only does the agreement help to further secure Waddington Europe’s long-term source of rPET, but it also enables the company to expand its line of Eco Blend products made with post-consumer recycled content sourced domestically in Ireland back into the Irish market.
“Collectively, we hope these new agreements will advance our stake in localised plastics circularity in the Irish market,” said Eduardo Gomes, managing director of Waddington Europe. “We need to start moving to a more holistic and long-term view when it comes to the lifecycle and environmental impact of food-grade packaging. It’s just as important to consider the carbon footprint at its start of life as the environmental impact at the end of its life. Keeping the packaging ‘closed-loop’ economy as local as possible helps to ensure the carbon footprint stays as low as possible. It also utilises waste as a resource and keeps it out of landfills.”
Shabra has recently invested heavily in new sorting lines and a reprocessing facility, which provides intensively washed rPET flake for use directly into the thermoforming and packaging sector.
“We are very much committed to sustainability and a circular economy and all the benefits that go with them,” said Rita Shah, chief executive of Shabra. “By keeping Irish plastic packaging waste in an Irish recycling system, we are confident that we can offer forward-thinking customers like Waddington Europe long-term savings, less reliance on foreign external suppliers, a positive public perception and increased customer loyalty. On a macro level, the localised economic model can increase jobs and innovation, the security of raw material supply and consumer savings, as well as reduce damaging pressures on the environment. To top all this, we have big expansion plans for 2022 that will allow us to double our output.”
Waddington Europe’s’ Irish customers will also benefit from purchasing food grade rPET packaging products that are produced from this localised approach.
“Our customers are beginning to realise that if they develop these circular supply chains, they can reduce manufacturing costs and provide consumers with more sustainable products,” Gomes said. “Additionally, governments are noticing how local recycling and closed-loop economies generate revenue and drive local job creation. It gives us a competitive advantage to show that the products we sell are made from waste plastic generated in Ireland itself. Consumers can see the benefits of their efforts to recycle their plastic food packaging, and we hope it could even help shape our future regulation.”
The global pandemic has affected the packaging solution industry by leading to a significant price increase and shortage of raw materials and components used in packaging equipment. To compensate for the rising costs and continue to provide the highest quality solutions, Sidel is implementing a commodity-induced price adjustment on its equipment by an average of 5% effective September 6, 2021. Deficiency of raw materials and components may impact equipment delivery time as well.
Advanced tray sealing technology from Proseal is proving ideal for the safe and efficient packaging of a variety of pharmaceutical products and medical devices. Proseal’s clean-room compatible machines have replaced the time-consuming manual placement of the lidding onto the trays for a faster and more efficient continuous sealing operation that can help to reduce material usage without compromising on pack integrity.
The report, funded by the Rethink Plastic Alliance and Break Free from Plastic movement, details how charging companies differentiated fees according to the environmental sustainability of their products could incentivize producers to stimulate a more circular economy.
“Redesigning products and packaging addresses the issue of waste at the most upstream source and places responsibility there,” explains Blaine Camilleri, policy officer at the European Environmental Bureau on behalf of the Rethink Plastic alliance.
The eco-modulation of EPR fees is “an effective way” of incentivizing the redesign of products by making them more sustainable and circular, and shifting the focus of waste prevention to the design phase, he details.
“EPR fees should reflect the true environmental costs of products and serve as a price signal for consumers to opt for sustainability when making their consumption choices.”
The importance of eco-modulation
Modulating fees for different packaging materials depending on sustainability criteria such as recyclability is already practiced in various EPR schemes around Europe. For example, infinitely recyclable materials like glass have lower fees than harder to recycle materials like flexible plastics.
However, in current EPR systems, most eco-modulation criteria, such as sortability, recyclability, market demand of secondary raw material, are primarily focused on improving the recycling of packaging and not on generating less waste in the first place.
Since packaging is not a durable product and typically turns to waste after one use only, product lifetime-related criteria, such as durability, do not play a significant role in fee modulation unless there is an increased focus on reusable packaging.
The report argues that reusability can play an essential role in reducing waste; however, most EPR schemes currently promote recycling and end up inadvertently discouraging reuse as a more expensive alternative.
Innova Market Insights has highlighted the importance of reusability as a criteria of waste reduction, marking the “Reusable Revolution” a top packaging trend for 2021.
The market analyst notes the majority of global consumers (52%) believe reusable packaging is the most sustainable model, followed by recyclable (50%) and recycled (39%), biodegradable (31%) and compostabl
Besides these issues, EU member states also face a range of implementation and enforcement challenges that further complicate the use of EPR systems for waste prevention.
These challenges include:
1) Lack of uniform modulation criteria and fees across member states, which “creates complications within the domestic market and weakens the effort for EPR to achieve the desired results.”
2) Limited availability of data on the real costs of end-of-life (EoL) treatment as well as product specifications, which is needed to estimate EPR fees and eco-modulation.
3) Governance challenges: free riding, reporting and enforcement challenges leading to distortion of EPR internal market by making it difficult for uniform and widespread adoption among producers.
4) In competitive EPR scheme
an increase in EPR fees could create a competitive disadvantage for certain PROs. Certain Producer Responsibility Organizations (PROs) would be impacted more than the others depending on the product portfolio.
Addressing the issues
The report suggests supplementing the EU’s current recycling targets with reuse targets, which would provide a regulatory basis for stakeholders involved in an EPR system to develop reuse systems.
This would require expanding the scope of cost coverage and “necessary costs” to include costs required to build a value chain for reusable packaging. To meet the new cost coverage to achieve reuse targets, EPR fees would have to be increased, which in turn would increase the revenue generated.
However, care should be taken while increasing EPR fees. Following the principle of waste hierarchy and eco-modulation, EPR fees should be increased for single-use packaging, it suggests.
Conversely, reusable packaging should be incentivized through lower or no fees for producers to shift from single-use packaging to reusable packaging.
“The increase in revenue generated will further need to be utilized to develop the logistical infrastructure required to ensure the reusable packaging reaches back to the producers for reuse. This would need sound governance, more data and increased transparency, which a centralized online public register can meet,” concludes the report.
Made to be 100% recyclable and featuring a new eye-catching contemporary design, that brings to life the ‘Born To Be Outdoors’ message, the new look packaging will not only stand out on shelf but in the kitchen too.
Branding agency Big Fish worked with Skinner’s, and designed the to play into the brand’s long standing heritage with working dogs and sourcing local grains and British ingredients.
The contemporary, eye-catching design on its new Tetra Pak cartons for the Field & Trial Wet Food offering.
The Wet Food range comes in four new SKU’s and the packaging has been specially and manufactured on site, made from over 70% paperboard to reduce single use plastic.
The design of the cartons means the food keeps fresher for longer and contains the same amount of product that you would get in the same serving in can.
The new Treats range come in three SKU’s and are 100% recyclable, plastic free and compostable.
Tim Hansell, chief executive of Skinner’s said: “Skinner’s mission is to reduce our carbon footprint and single use plastics within our packaging. We have chosen Tetra Pak for our Wet Food packaging as it ticks the boxes for our many sustainability targets. It is fully recyclable, made of 70% paperboard and therefore lightweight, yet super sturdy and strong. Our investment into this area now means that as a group, we are the first British manufacturer to have the Tetra Pak capabilities in house. Whilst other dog food companies may use the packaging, many of these are produced abroad and shipped to the UK. In being manufactured in the UK, we are supporting our company ethos and reducing our carbon footprint all in one.”
Perry Haydn Taylor, founder and creative director of Big Fish, said: “For their well-known Field & Trial range, we brought the story to life with illustrations, a colour palette and a voice that reflected the brand’s heritage. And beyond its looks, we considered every last detail of the packaging to make life easier for their consumers, as well as finding sustainable, recyclable solutions that benefit a business so firmly rooted in the great outdoors.”
nual sustainability report spotlights 70% greenhouse gas reductions in last decade EmailPrint Click to copy link Decrease font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font sizeNext Article ›‹ Previous ArticleNews:
Tetra Pak’s 22nd annual sustainability report is highlighting the company’s 70 percent greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction in its own operations from 2010 to 2020, Scope 1 and 2. The company also reduced total emissions by 19 percent within the same time frame.
The company is now working toward achieving net-zero GHG emissions in it own operations by 2030, with an ambition to go net-zero across the value chain by 2050.
“While the COVID-19 pandemic threw up unprecedented challenges, it also served as an important catalyst for change in many ways,” Lisa Ryden, sustainable development director at Tetra Pak, tells PackagingInsights.
“For Tetra Pak, the pandemic made our sustainability strategy even more important, because it demonstrated clearly how the planet, society and the economy cannot each survive in isolation.”
In 2020, Tetra Pak became the first company in the F&B packaging industry to be awarded the Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials (RSB) Advanced Products certification, with a portfolio of tethered cap solutions ready to deploy.
The company also extended the use of renewable electricity across its factories to 83 percent in 2020, up from 69 percent in 2019, which surpasses its target of 80 percent.
Moreover, Tetra Pak sold 13.5 billion plant-based packages and 7.5 billion plant-based caps, made from segregated plant-based polymers, fully traceable to their sugarcane origins.
The cheese processing line marked the first time a supplier created a white cheese processing line with its own equipment.Food safety first
In a previous interview with PackagingInsights, Markus Pfanner, Tetra Pak’s vice president for sustainability, maintained the importance of high-performance food packaging to mitigate climate change and world hunger.
“The pandemic revealed just how vulnerable our global food system can be,” says Adolfo Orive, CEO and president of Tetra Pak.
“The importance of getting food to where it’s needed, when it’s needed has never been more apparent. And we expect this will only increase in the future, as we strive to ensure that the world’s growing population has access to safe and nutritious food.”
Throughout the past year, Tetra Pak launched its first complete processing line for white cheese, designed to ensure high food safety standards at the same time as minimizing product loss.
It also promoted the benefits of consuming milk in aseptic packages rather than loose milk in reused containers as part of its ongoing loose milk conversion initiative.
Another means of keeping packaged contents safe is through eBeam technology, which sterilizes packaging material using electron beams and replaces the traditional hydrogen peroxide sterilization. Meanwhile, it can reduce energy consumption by as much as one-third.
Low carbon tweaks
Certain adjustments to Tetra Pak’s packaging have also brought down the company’s carbon emissions. Last year, it carried out a limited commercial launch of its first non-foil aseptic packaging solution, which replaces the aluminum layer with a polymer film applied with a Tetra Pak proprietary coating.
The EU SUPD demands caps and lids remain attached to containers from July 2024.This coating offers a robust solution that is effective and equally safe as our current foil barrier, but has a significant climate impact reduction.
A life cycle assessment to quantify this reduction is still pending, “but consider that our aluminum represents some 5 percent of our total base materials by weight but around one-third of their GHG emissions. We aim to field test an aseptic package made fully from renewable sources by 2023,” says the report.
Meanwhile, Tetra Pak launched a low-energy processing line for juice, nectar and still drinks to take beverage processing to “a new level of efficiency.” Instead of pasteurizing the whole volume of the product, the new production line separates out water and pasteurizes only the concentrate.
Recycling & circularity strides
In another interview with PackagingInsights, Pfanner highlighted how recycling is “crucial to planetary health” but “not a silver bullet.”
Tetra Pak carton packages are already widely recyclable, “but through design-for-recycling, we can do more to increase recycling levels and keep recovered materials in use,” reads the sustainability report.
This February, two Tetra Pak production sites in Europe received certification to produce packaging with recycled polyethylene polymers – deemed as “a must” for the circular economy transition. Recycled polymers can contribute to increased plastic recycling rates, make better use of resources and reduce dependence on virgin fossil materials.
Moreover, the company increased its global carton package recycling rate of 27 percent, as well as its carton package recycling facilities to more than 170 worldwide.
Tetra Pak E3 Speed/Hyper with eBeam technology can boost production capacity by 60%.Tetra Pak also became a member of the Holy Grail 2.0 consortium last year to develop digital watermarking technology for enhanced packaging recycling.
Each actor’s responsibility
Ultimately, in Tetra Pak’s view, packaging recycling should be a responsibility shared by governments, local authorities, producers and citizens.
“It is the role of national governments to put legislation in place to set the ground rules for recycling, that of local authorities and industry to