What’s happening with plastic packaging?

At the beginning of 2018, the European Commission launched its ambitious Strategy for Plastics, with the goal of ensuring more than 50% of packaging is reused or recycled by 2030, and no more than 10% of plastic waste is sent to landfill. With these measures, the European Commission aims to reinforce waste reduction policies, but also increase income in a post-Brexit Europe, as the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union represents around €15bn less in revenue, according to the European Commissioner for Budget, Günther Oëttinger. Italy was the first country in the eurozone to introduce a tax of 45 cents per kilo of single-use plastic sold in 2020, and it is expected that the remaining European countries will soon follow suit.

Are we facing a war on plastic?

The situation is complex. We are at a crucial point in time when China has closed its borders to low-value plastic waste, and there is growing concern about climate change caused by current rates of consumption. This has led to plastic food packaging being given a bad rap, regardless of the clear environmental benefits it provides. The food industry has, therefore, embarked on a journey of transformation with regard to sustainability. It aims to reduce the environmental pollution that is so frequently the subject of viral social media posts, and which has huge repurcussions for companies when they see their packaging in the marine environment.

It is no secret that SP GROUP has taken this issue very seriously, investing a large part of its resources and much effort into acheiving sustainable, mono-material structures, such as our new, 100% recyclable PE HB ECO, as well as biodegradable and biobased materials that disintegrate in industrial composting plants. Another of our new products is an rPET film made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic, which consolidates our commitment to the circular economy. This means production is  not only fed with our own post-industrial waste and that of others (TRAY2TRAY), but also uses post-consumer trays.

In my opinion, plastic is still the safest option for food packaging. Its levels of chemical migration are low, it requires fewer resources (energy, water, etc.), and it is lighter, making it easier to transport. Plus, of all the polymers, polyester (PET) is the most recycled plastic in Europe, with 1.9 million tonnes collected in 2017, a figure which represents 58% of all the packaging on the market, according to PETCORE. PET is the only polymer that can be reused 100% in the extrusion of new packaging, and we are able to do this thanks to the vacuum decontamination technology we have, for example, at our plant in Espiel.  SP GROUP has a clear commitment to continue its R&D work into the use of PET trays, replacing current PS and PVC ones with other less-polluting types.


At SP Group we optimise our production processes to provide the most efficient service to large industry. Many multinational companies already trust our ability to meet their flexible packaging needs on a daily basis.
If you would like to know how your company can benefit from our services, send us your details and one of our sales advisors will contact you. Or, if you prefer, consult the contact details of your area representative.


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