It is not only the beverage and food industries that are paying more and more attention to sustainable production: especially among cosmetic packaging manufacturers, the focus is increasingly on the sustainable development potential of packaging.
Although the manufacturing process provides many opportunities for optimizing energy efficiency, manufacturers of cosmetic packaging usually focus on the sustainable development potential of the packaging. According to the EU Plastics Directive, it is necessary to drastically reduce the amount of packaging waste. This also applies to food manufacturers and the cosmetics industry. A question that all manufacturers in the beverage industry are concerned about is: "How to minimize the use of plastic?"
Depending on the specifications of the bottling machine, a separate Virgin PET/recycled material mixture can be used to create a bottle design. A bottle-to-bottle recycling system with modules for cleaning or decontamination processes can prepare used PET bottles for reuse in food and beverage applications.
PET-the only one?
In the face of this competition, how can alternative plastics gain a place in the market? Bio-PET blends based on residues from sugar cane or sugar beet production have been widely used. According to data from the Institute of Bioplastics and Biocomposites at the University of Hannover, by 2023, by changing the strategy of large soft drink manufacturers, the global production capacity of this material will increase from 1.4 million tons (2018) to 2.2 million tons.
Another exciting question worth thinking about is how new plastic changes, such as the importance of platform chemistry FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid) to plastic PEF (polyethylene furanate), will play a role. This makes the available materials made of renewable raw materials derived from agricultural surplus materials or wood waste, and compared with traditional PET, its barrier properties have been significantly improved. At the same time, plastic substitutes have also attracted people's attention in the beverage market.
The innovative power of the industry has been demonstrated in the paper bottle variants and the inner layer of bioplastic foils (already used in spirits). Machine manufacturers have also opened up new opportunities for paper as a packaging material for secondary packaging: Why not use paper to wrap the cartons? Or equip six packs of PET mineral water with cardboard handles and completely eliminate the covered sheets?
Sustainability is still a hot topic
Even the fundamental discussion still makes sense: Have you learned recycling design? How does the EU tax on non-recyclable plastic waste affect the beverage industry? How will the environmental balance of packaging change if paper is used instead of plastic? Last but not least, what is the role of chemical recycling in this situation?