Greiner Packaging has taken the following step towards the development of more sustainable plastic packaging solutions. The Germany-based family-owned packaging expert is pursuing various options ranging from reducing the amount of material used and design for recycling to utilising alternative materials and exploring the potential of multi-use packaging.
The use of alternative materials, such as post-industrial waste derived from in-house production processes, is already standard practice. And, next to researching the possibilities offered by recyclates derived from mechanically recycled post-consumer waste and from chemical recycling, Greiner is also testing renewably-sourced materials, such as those supplied by the Bornewables portfolio produced by Austrian polyolefins manufacturer Borealis.
The company has now produced the first prototypes made from Borealis’ renewably-based, mass-balanced PP, complete with in-mould labelling as the decoration technology.
Unlike renewable raw materials produced with agricultural crops grown for food and livestock feed, the Bornewables products are made from second-generation feedstocks derived solely from waste and residue streams: from vegetable oil production as well as oil waste and residues, from the timber industry, or from the food industry – for instance, used cooking oil.
These products offer the same characteristics as virgin polyolefin materials but with a substantially reduced carbon footprint.
“The Bornewables portfolio represents a key step in our efforts to offer products decoupled from traditional feedstock, with the aim of providing a solution to the CO2 challenge. We focus on the needs of our customers and the value chain as we work to drive the transition to a circular economy for plastics,” said Trevor Davis, Head of Marketing, Consumer Products at Borealis.
According to the life cycle analysis initiated by Borealis at its Kallo site in Belgium, using Bornewables substantially reduces a product’s carbon footprint by at least 2.7 kg CO2 eq for every kilogram of polymer. This represents a saving of up to 120 percent in comparison to fossil-based PP from Borealis and, moreover, reduces the depletion of fossil resources by around 69 percent.
The entire Bornewables line of products has been certified as part of the ISCC PLUS (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) system. Certification is based on the mass balance approach, which means that a contribution to the use of chemically recycled or renewable materials is made in every material stream. A number of Greiner Packaging’s locations are also already ISCC PLUS certified.
The new prototype IML cups for dairy products are made of Bornewables monomaterial and were developed to be recycled as normal in conventional facilities – completely in line with the principle of design for recycling. The chemical structure of the PP material used in the cups is similar to that of standard plastic and can be recycled in the same loop as conventional polymers.