kiefel.page_only_available_in_english

The sustainability challenge

17 kvě 2019

Current customer desires, brand article manufacturers's efforts and the future of plastics.

Headlines on pollution of the oceans, a new circular economy law and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's activities have shifted packaging into political focus. In the face of mounting consumer pressure, politicians have reacted with regulations: all plastic packaging must be reusable or recyclable by 2030.

This represents a series of new challenges for the plastics industry: material composition and options for reutilization of packaging must be examined.

 

Trending topic: Recycling

Recycling has been a major topic for plastics for decades. When considering alternative packaging, the advantages of plastics must not be forgotten: economical manufacture, perfect hygiene, reliable safety and low weight. Achieving the same level of functionality with alternative packaging materials is generally associated with significantly higher material requirements.

Paper, cardboard, recycled materials or bioplastics are not always superior packaging solutions when looking at the big picture, taking into account environmental impact, manufacturing and transport costs. In most cases, plastic packaging performs the same function, but with significantly less mass per unit - leading to correspondingly lower production energy requirements for the packaging production and lower resulting greenhouse gas emissions than alternative materials. Reusable packing only makes sense where there are established systems for returns.

 

Plastics for the future

Are organic plastics the answer? Whilst packaging is one of the largest areas of application for bioplastics, they are outperformed by traditional plastics in some regards. Prior clarification of recycling loop is essential for the use of these materials, as bioplastics can incur problems in recycling processes.

Pure mono-material packaging can be recycled with relative ease, however, product durability is affected by the lacking barrier. The industry is already hard at work on solutions, and has developed Inline-Barrier-Coating utilizing Cavonium® to achieve an optimal barrier whilst facilitating recycling. Scientists are also working on innovative packaging solutions that ensure extended shelf-life of foodstuffs. Antibacterial plastics, "Pulsed light processing" which kills microorganisms on packaging, and films with reliable barrier functions are some of the many new developments on the international market.

 

Dreams and reality

Everyone is talking about sustainability, but it only plays a minor role in shaping consumers' purchasing decisions – functionality, quality and price are rated much more highly. Whilst two thirds of consumers believe that sustainable packaging is worthwhile, they are unwilling to pay a premium for it.

One area in which plastics remain virtually irreplaceable is convenience food: customers want practical, prepared meals because time is a scarce commodity in everyday life.

 

(Author: Reinhold Plot, Head of Communications, Kiefel GmbH)

ALTTEXT
Circular economy in the packaging industry.

kiefel.news.More News

kiefel.news.More News Subline

16 čec 2021

Fiber Thermoforming close up

Kiefel is demonstrating natural fiber competence at FACHPACK 2021 
kiefel.news.Read more
01 čec 2021

Kiefel expands its natural fiber expertise with a new Technology Center

Investing in research on sustainable packaging technologies
kiefel.news.Read more
28 čen 2021

After-Sales Service Taken to the Next Level

What is good service? Customers can count on the best possible support around the clock! We are therefore now combining our classic services with digital services - in three service packages, to meet every customer need. Stefan Klabacher, Head of...
kiefel.news.Read more
13 dub 2021

Trade fair report: Kiefel at Chinaplas 2021

After months of intensive preparations, the time has finally come: Chinaplas, one of our most important trade fairs, is about to begin. From April 13 to 16, we look forward to welcoming many interested visitors to our stand 10 P23 in Hall 10! In...
kiefel.news.Read more
22 bře 2021

Richard Schmidhofer becomes CFO at Kiefel

Richard Schmidhofer has been Commercial Managing Director of KIEFEL GmbH since February 1, 2021 and succeeds Peter Eisl, who left the company at his own request.
kiefel.news.Read more
08 bře 2021

Great success with remote commissioning

Our industry experts provide insights into how commissioning works with the help of digital solutions.
kiefel.news.Read more
Live demonstration: The SPEEDFORMER KMD 78 Smart from Kiefel offers maximum output and efficiency and is used for the manufacturing of food and non-food plastics packaging using various materials.
01 bře 2021

Innovative packaging solutions at Chinaplas 2021

In addition to the proven steel rule cutting machine SPEEDFORMER KMD 78 (premiere at Chinaplas!) the company will also demonstrate its extensive materials expertise for a wide range of applications for the circular economy at Hall 10, Booth...
kiefel.news.Read more
23 úno 2021

Kiefel Packaging Division under new management

The Packaging division of KIEFEL GmbH is under new management.
kiefel.news.Read more
10 pro 2020

Kiefel wins ABB European Value Provider Award

Kiefel has received the ABB European Value Provider Award in the “Outstanding Performance” category. This year's ceremony was primarily virtual, with a small group also meeting at Kiefel. With the award ABB is highlighting the extensive...
kiefel.news.Read more
03 pro 2020

Kiefel donates 1,000 FFP2 masks to regional high schools

In view of the persistently high corona infection levels in the region, Kiefel is again donating FFP2 masks - this time to the teaching staff of several schools. The headteachers were very grateful for the donation, which was presented outside, with...
kiefel.news.Read more