ECOFILLINK, the project to reduce the environmental impact of plastic packaging for the ceramic tile industry
ALCION PACKAGING SOLUTIONS participates in the ECOFILLINK project in which AIMPLAS works. It is coordinated by the Institute of Ceramic Technology (ITC) and funded by the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness (IVACE) through the ERDF (European Regional Development Funds).
The waste of contaminated plastic containers with the rest of inks used in ink-jet printing technology for the decoration of ceramic tiles nowadays, reach 500t per year with a volume of 10,650 m3. The recycling of such plastic containers is highly complicated due to the remaining product that might come out and get in contact with water. On the other hand, it is considered that, at least, 5% of ink remains attached to the inner wall of their packaging. This means that 3.6 million euros per year are thrown away inside these plastic containers.
ALCION considers its participation in the ECOFILLINK project, whose target is to reduce the environmental impact generated by ink-jet plastic packaging, being aware of the importance of optimising plastic packaging for the storage and transport of these inks, firstly, minimizing their environmental impact by implementing various eco-design strategies in packaging, secondly and, working on the management of their circular economy-oriented waste, allowing maximum permanence of resources in the economy as a consequence of them all.
The ceramic tile industry of the Valencian Community in Spain manufactures 90% of the production of the sector. According to our corporate values, minimising the impact of these plastic containers reusing them at least five times and then recycling them for their use in the same or in other applications, can have a hugely significant environmental impact in a geographical area that is our natural environment.
What is the ECOFILLINK project?
The project proposes to work on three essential aspects in these plastic packaging used in a sector of primary activity in our region:
- Try to get a complete emptying of the ink inside the plastic container. It is estimated that nowadays 5% of the ink remains inside the container. The objective of the project is to lower this percentage up to ±2%, achieving, thus, a greater use of the product.
- Work on the Eco-design line. To achieve that emptying improvement through plastic packaging by redesign options and modifying the inner surface of the plastic container to generate an ink-repellent surface that slips out better.
- Achieve improvements in the recycling of plastic packaging. To analyse how much plastic will be reused, how it will be decontaminated to promote the washing of materials, etc.
At ALCION we work in accordance with our corporate policy based on sustainable security and on the Circular Economy, without risking the final functionality of the packaging, trying to turn the waste that plastic industry generates, into new resources.