High Performance Wrapping Solutions
By Andrew Chinnery, managing director of Excelerate Ltd and member of BFFF’s Packaging Special Interest Group
According to a report from The Guardian, an estimated 8.3 billion tonnes of plastic has been produced since the 1950s, and only 9% of it being recycled. The rest has either been buried or burnt.
With scrutiny on the polythene industry, manufacturers now have a responsibility to minimise their impact on the planet. Over the past few years, we have seen industry leaders working towards reducing their plastic usage and removing unnecessary plastics from their products, whilst also creating more sustainable and eco-friendly solutions for their customers.
It is a step in the right direction. But what about the plastics you do not typically see?
In the UK, it’s estimated more than 150,000 tonnes of pallet wrap is used every year. With this comes significant plastic waste, which is hampered by using cheaper, mass produced films – meaning substantially more polythene must be used for the job and rolls are often discarded due to poor performance.
Unfortunately, it is not an easy problem to solve. Using conventional films with reduced thickness results in lost performance and the potential for product loss and unstable pallets, not to mention all the dangers and costs involved in a pallet collapsing.
One solution is using multi-layer nano technology, which delivers the strength of traditional films but reduces the thickness by up to 50%.
There are now established supply routes for the thinnest high-performance films and those which contain recycled content to match that required by UK government.
Other solutions include using plastics produced as a by-product of sugar production (sustainable crops). These high-tech films are now being trialled in breathable (perforated) applications.
By switching to these films, businesses can cut the cost of packaging items, as well as the carbon footprint.
Article from The Frozen Food Report 2021 – view full report here