A greater attention to environmental issues and to sustainability has led companies to review their priorities and internal processes, to better meet the needs of the circular economy. Sustainability can be achieved by decreasing the consumption of natural resources and/or by recycling products necessary to people’s life, for example. The packaging designed for food and products of personal use has allowed for several decades to decrease the waste of perishable products and to considerably improve consumers’ safety.
We believe in an economic progress that is sustainable and compatible with our environment.
In particular, flexible packaging available in the food and personal use market allowed to obtain ongoing improvements in safety and preservation of products. As a result, the costs of production chains have considerably improved. The option of combining different plastic films, each with its own functional characteristics, has led to the necessary preservation performance.
WHAT DOES SUSTAINABILITY OF FLEXIBLE PACKAGING MEAN?
Three are the adjectives that underlie the concept of sustainability of packaging for food and personal use items: reuse, reduce and recycle. The concept of being reusable does not apply to flexible packaging. The concept of reduction is understood as a decrease in the thickness or density of the films, and therefore less use of plastic.
There are two different approaches for recycling: mechanical and chemical recycling. The former does not currently apply to food packaging, whereas the latter promises important industrial developments. For instance, the post-consumer waste treatment carried out in special pyrolysis plants allow to obtain industrial oils that become raw materials for the production plants of materials for plastic films that make up the flexible packaging.
In order to optimize these recycling processes, it is necessary to adopt single material packaging laminates made with the same polymeric origin.
SUSTAINABILITY FOR TICINOPLAST
With this in mind, Ticinoplast has been recently focusing on the research of solutions that reduce packaging weight by decreasing the thickness of more technical films and the density of foams. Such research has led to the development, together with its international partners, of bi-oriented polyethylene films, suitable both for printing processes and upgrade through coating and vacuum processes, that guarantee gas, aroma and water vapor barrier.
This has led Ticinoplast to manufacture products that meet the requirements of the circular economy.
Such solutions translate into the production of films designed to create compostable and renewable mono-material packaging. In June 2020 the NEXTFILMbyTicinoplast line was launched: a new generation of films for packaging, that conveys the company’s commitment towards circular economy and the environment.