Sustainable paper and packaging solutions provider Mondi Group has developed a fully-recyclable polypropylene construction for thermoforming applications which offers a 23% reduction in carbon footprint compared to existing packaging.
The recyclable polypropylene film is designed for the thermoforming of flexible films for modified atmosphere packaging (MAP) and vacuum packaging, which is known for its ability to extend the shelf life of products such as meat and cheese.
The new, coextruded material includes a top and bottom web, with an internal barrier layer that comprises less than 5 percent of the entire structure, meaning it qualifies as a mono-material construction and is fully recyclable in existing waste streams. The German-based Institute for Recyclability and Product Responsibility (Institut cyclos-HTP) has independently certified that both the top and bottom webs of this construction have the highest qualification ‘Class AAA’ in recyclability.
The previous multi-material construction rendered the previous packages unrecyclable and also resulted in a much higher carbon footprint.
Thomas Kahl, project manager EcoSolutions for Mondi Consumer Packaging, explains: “Mondi’s view is that packaging should always be fit-for-purpose – paper where possible, plastic when useful – and sustainable by design. The challenge with this project was to maintain the functionality that is key to such applications, including excellent oxygen and moisture barriers, and high puncture resistance – while also enhancing the package’s recyclability.”
This development aims to correspond with design guidelines of major brand owners and retailers who have sustainability in mind. This thermoformable food packaging corresponds to their requirements for redesigning flexible packaging to become more sustainable, while also meeting the challenges laid out in the ‘New Plastic Economy’ global initiative (www.newplasticseconomy.org) which is striving toward a more circular and sustainable economy.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2020