Flow wraps are versatile, inexpensive and offer effective product protection. However, when it comes to sustainability, there is room for improvement since they are often made of composite materials.
Although these materials offer optimal product protection, they are difficult to recycle. There are already options that combine both sustainability and product protection. We are pursuing several promising approaches.
The main aim is to prevent waste of raw materials. This can be achieved, for example, by using thinner films to save material during production. An additional reduction in material use can be achieved by using narrower sealing seams or by changing pack styles. The effectiveness of the packaging machines contributes to waste avoidance too; the greater the process stability, the fewer products are rejected.
Very few technologies are currently capable of separating and recycling composite materials. For products that cannot be recycled, the last option in the waste hierarchy is thermal recovery, which releases the energy stored in plastic and uses it to generate heat or electricity. Since only part of the energy can be recycled, current developments are moving towards alternative packaging materials that are fully recyclable. There are currently two directions: paper packaging and films made from mono-material.
Films made from mono-material
Since the different layers are made of the same type of plastic, mono-material films are fully recyclable. However, the transition from composite to mono-material films is not straightforward: the sealing window is much smaller because the temperature-sensitive outer layer will be damaged if the sealing times are too long and insufficient energy input results in inadequate sealing. We have the know-how to adjust the sealing parameters of pressure, temperature and time to achieve perfect sealing seams.
Paper as an alternative
Since paper is considered as recyclable and biodegradable, it is a very popular packaging material. Paper flow wraps are sealed cold, as this ensures stable sealing seams. The necessary product protection is provided by a thin plastic barrier layer.
Shaping a sustainable future
We test different packaging materials in our own test labs and optimize our systems and sealing technologies in order to meet the specific requirements of the sustainable materials. Our goal are innovative and sustainable solutions, without sacrificing product protection, seal integrity or packaging speeds.
Read our latest press release to find out more details.