For German packaging manufacturer Südpack, sustainability has become a guiding principle at all levels of the process chain. That was one of the main aspects to emerge from the first virtual press conference organised by the company on 7 July 2021, with as theme ‘Sustainability at Südpack’.The company also used the event to present its third annual Sustainability Report.
According to CEO Erik Bouts, the company will focus on the four aspects of recyclability, material efficiency, renewable raw materials and the circular economy. He talked about why this was crucial within the context of today’s political, legislative, environmental and economic conditions and pointed to the challenges that producers, packers and retail face now and in the years ahead.
By 2025, Südpack aims to generate around half of its sales with sustainable products. This is currently around 35 percent. To that end, various initiatives are being deployed. For example, the company has developed its Pure-Line portfolio: a family of recyclable mono-material films made fromPE, PP and PET that provide the same protection and convenience as conventional film structures. The company also collects the production film waste from its German sites in sorted groups, which is then processed in Schwendi for recycling. This has allowed Südpack to reduce both raw material consumption and waste volumes throughout nearly all stages of manufacturing over the past few years.
Südpack’s striving towards a more circular economy goes beyond efforts to streamline its own processes. The company aims to firmly anchor a functioning circular economy for flexible packaging in the market – and to make a pioneering contribution to a circular economy as well as to decarbonisation and CO2 reduction. It is therefore also pushing in particular for chemical recycling to be recognised as a complementary recycling technology to mechanical recycling.
“By doing so, we are making a massive investment in a future that is characterised by the responsible use of valuable resources,” said Erik Bouts.
Chemical recycling allows for the recycling of multilayer, mixed or even contaminated film composites that are unable to be mechanically recycled. The technology yields new, high-quality base chemicals in a way that conserves resources and virgin-quality resins for the production of packaging films suitable for demanding products and even food applications.