Reusable packaging: a more responsible use of plastic

Sustainability

This is not the first time we have talked about the importance of complying with the new European Strategy on Plastics, which establishes that 100% of plastic packaging must be recyclable by 2030, thereby eliminating single-use plastics.

Most of SPGroup’s goals for 2019 are related to sustainability and seeking real solutions to meet our objectives, including:

  • Downgauging
  • Incorporating recovered material and post-consumer recycled material
  • Creating mono-material structures
  • Developing biodegradable and compostable packaging
  • Commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.
Reusable packaging

But focusing on reusable packaging, how can we achieve a more responsible use of plastic?

REUSABLE PLASTIC FOR NEW PACKAGING

When we showed you the plastics identification codes, we explained that sustainable packaging materials such as PET (Polyethylene terephthalate), HDPE (High-density polyethylene), LDPE (Low-density polyethylene) and PP (Polypropylene) are highly recyclable.

Based on this fact, one of the industry’s objectives is to use recycled plastic to create other products and packaging that require these materials.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF RECYCLED PLASTIC IN THE PRODUCT VALUE CHAIN?

  1. The production of new plastic packaging with reusable materials consumes fewer resources, both in terms of energy and raw materials.
  2. Consequently, less CO2 enters the atmosphere, meaning greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.
  3. In the plastics recycling process, 100% of the material is used, giving it a new use and fully eliminating waste.
  4. The fact that recyclable packaging takes up less space in storage and transport also contributes to a greater sustainability.
  5. The quality and properties of sustainable flexible packaging ensure optimum preservation of the product, thereby avoiding the need for repackaging.
  6. The option of reusing surplus packaging after washing and sterilisation, means that it is suitable for reuse. In relation to this, some time ago, SP Group set up its Tray2Tray system for the efficient management of our clients’ packaging.
    Thanks to this system, all APET and APET PE industrial surplus packaging is recycled and reused to make trays.
Reusable packaging

REUSABLE PACKAGING FORMATS THAT ALLOW SECOND USE

In addition to its recyclability, the future of packaging also depends on designing reusable packaging formats that can be given a second use. In fact, in new food packaging trends, one of the main factors that attracts Generation Z (those born in the 21st century) to a product, is whether the packaging is easy to store and reuse, as well as being being attractive and having innovative preservation properties.

What types of packaging can be given a second use? We can highlight the Doypack formats, a type of packaging that has revolutionised the sector. One of their many advantages is their high degree of reusability. Doypack packaging, or stand-up pouches, can be closed with a zipper, velcro or even a cap, allowing them to be used to store other products, such as loose foods; to refill them from larger packets; and even to carry things on journeys, such as medicines or cosmetics.

NEW FORMS OF RECYCLING: RPET

In recent years, new techniques have also been added to ensure greater sustainability. This is the case of rPET, which is just recycled PET, aimed at giving a new use to a high-quality post-consumption material. Among the benefits of recycled PET we can highlight:

  • A significant carbon reduction, with 75% fewer CO2 emissions than traditional polyester.
  • Considerable reduction in plastic waste.
  • Recycled PET can be used to create other sustainable packaging materials with characteristics like polyester, which is much used in sectors such as the textile industry.

Big brands are not unaware of society’s demands, and many of them, including Nestlé, have already announced measures to ensure none of their packaging ends up in landfill or discarded in the environment. They are committed to making their packaging 100% recyclable or reusable to put an end to plastic waste.

At SP Group we are reinforcing our commitment to the circular economy and sustainability and will continue to back innovative and sustainable solutions that contribute to a more responsible use of plastic.


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