One of the biggest advantages of plastic is convenience - it can be moulded into anything easily and would probably be the cheapest available.
But this comes at a cost - the environment.
Unlike other materials, plastic does not disintegrate or decompose on its own and will lie round in nature for centuries, polluting it.
Though there is a growing awareness about the harm plastic can do to our environment, many people are forced to still use them due to the lack of awareness about more eco-friendly alternatives.
The seemingly harmless plastic straws that we use and throw is one of the biggest environmental pollutants in the world.According to the Trash Free Seas Alliance, the average American uses 1.6 straws a day. In the US alone, that’s enough to circle the equator two and a half times.
As an alternative to the plastic ones, Saji Varghese, an English Professor from Christ University, Bengaluru has made eco-friendly, biodegradable straws from coconut leaves.
His organic creation is not only anti-fungal, can also withstand water for more than six hours, with a shelf life of over 12 months.
Eco-friendly carry bags and packing
Another major contributor to the growing plastic pollution is the single-use plastic carry bags. Despite several attempts to ban it these bags continue to be used widely and are often thrown away after use. But there are several eco-friendly and equally useful alternatives for them.Carry bags made from paper, or even leaves stitched together do the job and are easily degradable.
Plastic cutlery has become an integral part of food packaging, especially for online orders. Though there is an option to ask the restaurant not to send them, hardly anyone uses them and this cutlery once again add to our plastic waste problem. One of the ways to make sure that the cutlery is not wasted is to eat them too.
Yes quite literally eat the cutlery. Edible cutlery is a thing and there are several companies, big and small that manufacture these.
Plastic or styrofoam cups are the norm at almost all tea shops, irrespective of which part of the country it is. These, once again are not biodegradable and are hardly processed by recyclers. They often end up in landfills or water bodies, polluting them. The best eco-friendly alternative for these is clay cups and glasses. They are also cheap and eco-friendly and can easily be disposed of after drinking. Buying these clay cups will also help the marginalized people who make them.
According to the latest insight from Defra, more than 67% of all packaging materials placed on the market in 2020 were recycled. Indeed, of the 12.6 million tonnes of packaging waste arisings, PRNs were issued for 7.8 million, including 76% of all metal packaging, 75.8% of glass and 65.6% of paper and cardboard.
But while packaging recycling rates should undoubtedly be celebrated, it’s important to pause and consider the 33% that didn’t make it to the reprocessing line – either sorted and sent for incineration or simply dumped in landfill. A minority percentage, granted, but still more than 4.8 million tonnes of waste – a weight equivalent to 32 blue whales, or 384,000 double decker buses.
Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) general manager Tom Giddings discusses why material choice, packaging design and product labelling can play a hugely pivotal role in engaging consumers, changing behaviours and maximising kerbside recycling rates.
Who is to blame?
The easy answer would be to point the finger of blame at a plethora of external factors, all combining to justify this tonnage. After all, insufficient education, inconsistent collection systems, accidental contamination, and dwindling consumer engagement all undoubtedly play their part.
However, we should instead see this as an opportunity to further improve packaging recycling rates. As an industry, we have an obligation to work collaboratively to reduce the volume of packaging sent to landfill and improve the circularity of the supply chain. As an industry, we need to find a solution.
But what can packaging manufacturers do to help? In short, by not only leading the way with incremental improvements when it comes to material choice, packaging design and product labelling – three elements capable of revolutionising recycling rates – but also by reaching out to brands and encouraging them to make more sustainable choices when it comes to their packaging choices.
Design for recycling
When it comes to effective packaging design to maximise recycling rates, simplicity is key. We need to make it easy for consumers to recycle their spent packaging, not a chore to separate material types, identify which can and which can’t be recycled, research which streams they should be placed in and be engaged throughout.
As such, we need to ensure that product packaging is designed, from the beginning, with the end goal of optimum recyclability. In essence, embracing design for recycling principles.
Smurfit Kappa announces the launch of its Green Finance Framework
Smurfit Kappa Group has launched its Green Finance Framework and commences discussions with potential investors on a new green financing transaction.
The Green Finance Framework will support green issuances from Smurfit Kappa that finance assets and expenditures associated with circular economy adapted products, production technologies and processes and/or certified eco-efficient products and environmentally sustainable management of living natural resources and land use.
The Green Finance Framework is aligned with the ICMA Green Bond Principles 2021 and the LMA Green Loan Principles 2021, which have been confirmed by ISS ESG in a positive Second Party Opinion.
The Green Finance Framework is reflective of the sustainable nature of Smurfit Kappa’s business model, with eligibility criteria that span the geographic scope of the group’s operations and take into account its efforts to produce circular products, using certified sustainable raw materials and implementing circular production processes that are subject to continuous improvement, both in terms of environmental and social metrics. As such, Smurfit Kappa’s approach to sustainable financing will also mirror what the group is, a global business which places sustainability at the centre of its operating model.
Garrett Quinn, chief sustainability officer, commented: “Setting up this framework and issuing green finance instruments is a further significant step in our sustainability strategy, embedding sustainability into our capital structure alongside our sustainability-linked revolving credit facility, and complementing the dedication of everyone in Smurfit Kappa, where we make a sustainable product in an increasingly sustainable way.”
Smurfit Kappa has mandated ING and Rabobank as Joint Green Structuring Advisors, and BNP Paribas, Citigroup, ING and Rabobank to arrange on its behalf a series of virtual fixed income investor meetings commencing today, (Monday, 13 September 2021). An inaugural, green, EUR 1 billion, Regulation S, senior, unsecured, dual-tranche offering with 8-year and 12-year maturities is expected to follow, subject to market conditions.
Smurfit Kappa intends to use an amount equivalent to the net proceeds from the offering to finance eligible green projects under its Green Finance Framework. The group intends to issue a notice to redeem its senior notes due 2024 from existing cash on hand and/or existing available facilities, should a transaction follow. BNP Paribas will be coordinating logistics and an electronic deal roadshow presentation will be made available.
Tekni-Plex has named Chris Qualters as CEO of the company’s Healthcare division.
Qualters joined Tekni-Plex in November as president of Tekni-Plex Medical, responsible for all aspects of the company’s global medical device business. He was tasked with designing and implementing a comprehensive business strategy to bolster Tekni’s position as a key solutions partner to Medical Device organizations.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, the european tube manufacturers association (etma) reports stable deliveries in the first half of 2021. The total deliveries of aluminum, plastic and laminate tubes even increased slightly by 0.5 percent to a level of around 6 billion units.
While deliveries to the pharmaceutical industry fell by 11 percent, deliveries to the dental care market increased by 4 percent, to the cosmetics market by 2 percent and to the markets for food and household products by as much as 10 percent and 13 percent respectively.
Econovus says it fully meets the requirements of the global certification of compliance program for sustainability. The organisation has implemented an effective environment management system, which enables it to identify and manage all significant environment risks and to reduce them accordingly, as well as to continuously improve its environment performance.
Based on various sustainability initiatives, Econovus says it is further committed to achieving carbon- neutrality by FY2024. To achieve this goal, it is committed to:
Make continuous effort to increase the use of sustainable raw material as a part of responsible sourcing, to reduce the greenhouse gases (GHG) footprint as part of its climate change mitigation initiative.
To conduct lifecycle assessment (LCA) of the entire value chain (raw material, processing, transportation, retail and use phase and waste) to monitor carbon footprint for improvement and to achieve carbon neutrality target.
Econovus will manage its carbon footprint through is internal system called “Ecogauge’.
Econovus Packaging offers eco-friendly, cost-effective, heavy duty and industrial packaging for both export and domestic application. Its engineering solutions not only help reduce the packaging carbon footprint by up to 93 percent but also can help save up to 15 percent in packaging cost. Furthermore, through specialised design solutions, there is scope to improve up to 20 percent efficiency in container optimisation.
3D packages are emerging in the semiconductor packaging industry to address the serious technical challenges such as miniaturization, faster interconnections, power saving, and limitation to node transition in the front-end process. Typical 3D-package structures are stacked dies with through silicon via (TSV) and micro-bump interconnections, and face-to-face interconnections with micro-bumps for two dies. These are silicon "die" base structure.
Wafer-level packages (WLP) are the molded die components with redistribution layers, called wafer level CSP (WLCSP). This is a packaged component base structure. Many industry leaders are developing stacked WLCSP just like 3D-package structures to offer inexpensive alternatives to 3D packages.
These two packages are often categorized together now. Because of their similar package structures, the challenges are also similar. They need underfill to fill the gaps between stacked dies or molded components. The micro-bumps are too small for mold compounds to fill the gaps, so capillary underfill is the most popular way. For productivity, chip-on-wafer process is desired: chip-stacking is done multiple times on a wafer, which includes another function as a bottom die. Then these stacked dies are filled with underfill. Tens to hundreds of dies are allocated on the wafer: very tight allocation with hundreds of micron distance to next stacked dies. Dispensing underfill between the stacked dies is thus one of the key challenges because of the narrow distance: small dot size, dispensing position accuracy, and productivity. The productivity means not only faster dispensing but also narrower distance is better for more dies on a wafer.
Key dispensing applications to serve the 3D packaging and WLP industries are:
- Capillary underfill dispensing for stacked dies and molded components
- Flux dispensing for die stacking
An inclusive, gender-neutral collection of multi-tasking waterless products in packaging that promotes a more circular and sustainable future.
Following the International Sustainability and Carbon Certificate (ISCC) Plus accreditation of its Berry Astra Plastique facility in Saint-Georges-de-Reneins, France, Berry Healthcare’s market-leading Vistop® PP36 patented tamper evident closure for autoclave sterilisation can now be specified incorporating advanced recycling resin in both circular PP and PE. This meets customer demands for more sustainable packaging while maintaining the closure’s high standards of product protection and user safety.
It has been phasing out the use of black plastic in its bottle caps over the summer and should have removed up to 100 metric tons (mt) of black plastic from its supply chain this month.
Rowse has also confirmed it is phasing in the use of recycled plastic in its plastic bottles, setting itself an initial target of 30% recycled plastic across all its honey SKUs in 2021.
This initiative will result in 135mt of virgin plastic being removed from its supply chain annually.
Kirstie Jamieson, marketing director at Valeo Foods UK, said: “As part of our wider sustainability plan, and as members of WRAP’s Plastic Pact, we are rolling out a range of new initiatives and are delighted to be in a position to offer consumers 100% recyclable packaging this year and the introduction of recycled plastic.”