Plastic packaging waste is a global problem that creates intense media scrutiny for the industry, particularly if a brand is found to have directly contributed. As increasing numbers of documentaries and news reports continue to shine a spotlight on the issue of waste, consumer attitudes and behaviours have changed. It is now vital brands continue to innovate and create new sustainable packaging solutions to keep up with the modern-day shopper. Knowing how to ‘keep it green’ is essential when deciding what packaging to use for products to show the consumer you are a responsible brand, and sustainable plastic packaging solutions are a sure-fire way to achieve that.
Plastics play a significant role in the life of the consumer, but it is not easy to calculate precisely how much they encounter daily, especially when it comes to food and drink packaging. According to the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), in the UK around 40% of all packaging is plastic, generating around 2.4million tonnes of waste per year – with a third of that coming from general household waste mainly comprised of food and drink packaging.
However, plastic packaging plays a significant role in preventing the damage and spoilage of food both in the retail store and in the home. This includes physical protection to avoid handling damage, barrier protection to delay spoilage, security features to prevent tampering or contamination, properties to promote product stability and efficient portion control. At its simplest, packaging protects the product.
As a sector, we must be intensely aware of the importance of protecting the environment and reducing consumer dependence on single-use plastics. However, we must also understand that packaging in all formats and materials is sustainable – it protects and preserves goods minimising CO2, waste and energy losses, ultimately protecting the environment.
The primary issue at hand is ensuring plastic materials are appropriately managed at the end of their service life, whether that be recycling, composting or reuse. Today, making flexible packaging suitable for current recycling infrastructures is key to the sector moving forward.
That’s why Parkside has developed its innovative new sustainable packaging portfolio!
The new range comprises three variations of our Recoflex® technology; a high barrier, single polymer laminate, ideal for recycling processes, which can be manufactured with paper, Polypropylene (PP) or Polyethylene (PE). Recoflex can be widely recycled and is suitable for a diverse range of applications, including pouches and flow wraps. Recoflex PE can also be recycled along with carrier bags at supermarket collection points.
The range also contains the company’s leading Parkscribe™ reclose lidding films, which are manufactured from more than 30% recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). Suitable for use on PET trays used in applications including fresh and cooked meats, fruit and vegetables, this innovative solution creates a single polymer PET complete pack ideal for recycling and reduces waste in the home through the reclose functionality.
Parkside lidding and Recoflex paper can also be placed into kerbside collection schemes, where available.
The portfolio also includes the award-winning Park2NatureTM range of compostable packaging solutions. With more than eight years of research and development behind the portfolio, Parkside has secured official confirmation from TUV that the packs entirely break down in a range of conditions and timeframes suitable for both industrial and home composting environments.
By releasing this new range of viable, sustainable solutions, we are strengthening our push towards a circular economy. We can now produce a range of flexible packaging alternatives for brands that can be used in an array of applications where extended shelf-life through high barrier performance, and in some cases resealability, are essential.