As recyclable pouch specialists, we are very conscious of the impacts that the use of plastics poses on our environment. We are actively moving towards making all of our packaging recyclable by working with industry leaders to promote recycling of flexible packaging to local authorities over the next few years.
As members of both CEFLEX and PIRAP we fully embrace working towards creating a Circular Economy for flexible packaging and are actively trying to promote and increase the recycling of flexible plastics in both the UK and Europe.
Flexible packaging (pouches, crisp packets, single use films etc) is proven to be a resource efficient form of packaging for a wide variety of products, which would not be suitable for storing in naturally sourced alternatives such as cardboard and paper packaging. When comparing pouches with other forms of packaging, controlled research has shown that pouches are more environmentally friendly than steel cans, glass jars and plastic pots.
As things stand, approximately only 20% of local authorities will recycle flexible packaging made of LDPE film alone. The aim of the industry is for all flexible packaging to be recycled by 2020, without compromising the functionality of the packaging. We are working to find a solution so that our customers can market their packaging as green without having to worry about the effects on the shelf life and appearance of their products in a retail setting.
Many ‘biodegradable’ pouches on the flexible packaging market are made from regular plastics produced from fossil fuels. In order to be considered ‘biodegradable’, the plastic laminates contain additives which aid anaerobic digestion. If the source of the plastic laminate is not green, then simply making the packaging capable of degrading in a shorter timeframe does not reduce the environmental impact, it just makes it less apparent. There has now been an industry wide call to ban oxi-degradable plastics courtesy of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.
We have researched the use of PLA as a potential green sourced laminate to produce pouches. The limitations in the moisture barrier of this material will make it unsuitable for many of our customers’ products across various industries.
If you would like to discuss our eco packaging policy or your specific requirements in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us.