Good practices and investments related to Cleaner Production
Example No. 46
Replacing mono-material laminates for food packaging with recyclable mono-material laminates
Firma Handlowo-Produkcyjna PAK Sp. z o.o., Toruń
Industry branch: plastics
Main products: products for food industry: films, laminates and foil packaging, labels and price tags, wrappers, cold cuts and cheese casings
Resources in question:
(approx. PLN 360,000, including costs of personnel, materials used for testing, testing in certified external laboratories)
Description of the problem:
According to the EU's rules concerning the circular economy (CE), targets for the use and recycling of plastic packaging waste will be 50% by 2025 and 55% by 2030. Accordingly, the plastic packaging industry is working to replace multi-material packaging with recyclable mono-material packaging, while maintaining the requirements for food packaging. There is therefore a need for increased recyclability of plastic packaging, especially since there is still a demand for disposable packaging (as perfectly proved by the COVID-19 pandemic). The major retail chains have been introducing their own guidelines since the end of 2019, making it mandatory to pack food in so-called mono-laminates (i.e. laminates made from a single type of plastic).
Specific objectives of the implemented project included:
- Use of a mono-material solution that allows 100% recycling of packages
- Maintaining the highest possible barrier capacity which prevents food spoilage and allows to reduce/eliminate the addition of preservatives to food
- Providing a wide range of welding temperatures, allowing for quick packaging
Obtained benefits and effects of the implementation:
- Full recyclability of the new product (less non-recyclable waste)
- Replacement, at this stage, of the old laminate with the new one in 40%
- Economic savings – for the duration of the project it was estimated at 15%, unfortunately due to current fluctuations in raw material prices it is difficult to be confirmed
- The payback period was estimated at about 6 months
- Report on the Cleaner Production Project No. 5ind.781, developed within the framework of the Cleaner Production Academy at PAK Sp. z o.o.: "R&D activities targeting the elimination of non-ecological multi-material laminates in favor of recyclable mono-material laminates"
- Materials (including photos) submitted by PAK Sp. z o.o.