Sustainability and the future of plastic packaging at APS’s Open House
Sustainability and the future of plastic packaging were the main issues of the second edition of APS’s Open House Days: Building a sustainable future. It was held along June the 1st and 2nd and it was attended by several experts in packaging technologies and by many professionals from the agrochemical sector. Many attendees who sought to get answers to the changes that are taking place with regards to plastic legislation and, consequently, at many other stages.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Extrusion blow moulding (EBM) and Plasma fluorination: perfect combination for sustainable plastic packaging
After our CEO’s introductory speech, José Guaita, President of Heura Gestión Ambiental opened the first presentation about legislation and the Extended Producer Responsibility. The attendees were able to see and understand the transition from Delegated Responsibility, which was primarily a responsibility that fell on the customer, to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which is coming soon and which falls directly on who places the packaging on the market. Major changes at the level of regulations to which we must adapt, and which represent a challenge for the packaging sector.
Where should the plastic sector be headed? Diego Bärlein, Sales Manager of W. Müller, presented his commitment to extrusion blow molding (EBM), since it brings great advantages both in terms of production rate and resistance to chemicals, in addition to debunking the false myth that plastic is the biggest pollutant. And he did it with data. Plastics only account for 12% of all the waste we produce and plastic for packaging produces only 1% of CO2 emissions, for example.
Further to the extrusion-blowing, Steve Steendhoudt, Sales Engineer at Delta Engineering, took the floor to give details on plasma barrier solutions that undoubtedly provide great advantages, such as resistance to the aggressive products contained into a plastic packaging, impermeability to solvents and resistance to high temperatures. In addition, it also brings great benefits to increase sustainability, since these are easy recycable products, and it can replace multilayer products that require chemical recycling.
At this point, Roberto Bello, Sales Manager of Alcion Packaging Solutions, spoke of the fact that a 100% recyclable barrier plastic container already exists, and it is none other than that produced in Alcion Packaging Solutions by means of plasma fluorination technology. An environmentally friendly packaging throughout all its production process and behavior, as it provides the necessary barrier properties to protect the packaged product.
Research and UN approval in plastic packaging
To finish with this 360º vision and provide a global solution to those who attended the presentations, Miriam Jiménez, Food Contact Specialist at AIMPLAS, and Laura Benedito, Director of Quality and Environment at Alcion Packaging Solutions, closed the presentations.
Miriam Jiménez made everyone aware of the great work that is being done in R&D&I departments to continuously improve and, in this case, implement these improvements in plastic packaging. They investigate factors such as permeability, which is a critical factor for the shelf life of the product, since the level of oxygen and the level of water in the product affects this. In addition, they also investigate other factors such as exposure time and temperature as well as specific properties of the final application.
Laura Benedito, on her side, gave an overview of the UN approvals to be taken into account, with emphasis on the ADR (Agreement on Dangerous good by Road) approval and its different provisions, the one relating to hazardous materials and objects and the one relating to transport equipment and transport. She detailed its structure, the classes of hazardous materials, the packaging groups and all the tests that are carried out (chemical compatibility test, drop test, leak test, internal pressure test, permeability test) and those carried out in Alcion Packaging Solutions’s in-house laboratory
Through the different presentations we wanted to give a 360º degree vision of what is a plastic container conceived and manufactured in a sustainable way, as well as all the aspects that must be considered when selecting a safe plastic container with optimal quality, while remaining sustainable.
After the presentations and various clarifications, we opened the doors of our plant to show the attendees what was presented during the morning. Being able to see how the manufacturing process of a plastic container is using plasma fluorination technology provides the vision that at ALCON we are truly committed to finding SOLUTIONS to the challenges that society and legislation poses to PACKAGING and to the sector in general.
We thank to all our partners and speakers for their commitment during these days and the attendees of the event for their participation. We hope to do it again soon because the contact with our customers or potential customers is, without a doubt, what we like the most. Share impressions, solve doubts, transmit our philosophy and way of working and show all the work behind, carried out by a great team of people committed to this GREAT PROJECT that is ALCION PACKAGING SOLUTIONS.
For any questions, before we see each other, you can contact us, we will be delight to do everything possible to solve it.
Thanks to all, see you soon!