Sustainability and excellent performance
The EU Commission’s European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy is an initiative to reduce waste from plastics and protect the environment. It calls for an increase in recycling as well as the development of alternative packaging solutions. According to the new requirements, all plastics packaging in the EU must be recyclable by 2030.
A specialist in flexible packaging solutions, Schur Flexibles has already developed a pioneering sustainability strategy under the guiding principles of "rethink". The implementation of the sustainability strategy follows Schur Flexibles’ 5R programme based on five pillars: responsibility, recycling, replace, reduction and renewal. The packaging solutions developed as a part of Schur Flexibles’ 5R approach and “design for recycling” concept, are all marked accordingly with the “rethink” logo to highlight the range of sustainable products. The most important prerequisite for the market launch of all sustainable packaging materials is that they fulfil the highest levels of product safety and functionality.
Sustainable solutions already part of the portfolio
Numerous products from the Schur Flexibles range already contribute to sustainable resource management. Mono materials are not the only recyclable materials. Materials of the same group of plastics can also be recycled together. Many Schur Flexibles products are made of mono materials or of materials from the same group of plastics and are therefore recyclable. One such group of plastics is the polyolefin group to which PE and PP belong. This also enables the recyclability of product combinations such as SkinFreshTop combined with C-base bottom films (PP), or the reclosable FlexiClosere packaging concept. Used in conjunction with Schur Flexibles C-base bottom film, FlexiClosere provides a completely recyclable, high barrier, reclosure solution. What makes FlexiClosere so innovative is the polyolefin-based lidding film which, when used in combination with C-base, forms a recyclable system. In recognition of its highly innovative qualities, FlexiClosere was awarded the German Packaging Award for Sustainability as well as the Gold Award in 2018.
The development of extremely thin films is another important path on the way to more sustainability. They offer materials savings of between 20 and 25 per cent and reduce the amount of resources required for storage and transportation, thus leading to a more efficient use of resources all along the value chain. The Schur Flexibles range of innovative and high performing products includes the VACUshrink FM40 film and BarrierTop X 35 which are amongst the thinnest in the market. In addition, Schur Flexibles has developed the flexible and extremely transparent thermoforming VACUflex film.
Schur Flexibles has also increased the use of renewable raw materials such as paper. This includes paper-based bottom films for skin applications that utilise paper or fibre instead of polymers. The use of waxed paper (using classic wax and eco wax), PE from renewable resources (bioethanol) and sugar-based films are further examples of this.
High performing solutions for sensitive food products
Solutions by Schur Flexibles are always about boosting performance. This also applies to sustainable solutions which optimise recycling, replace materials, reduce material consumption or utilise materials from renewable resources.
The packaging provides reliable sealing, excellent peelability, reclosability, antifog, high levels of transparency and tear resistance. Furthermore, a large number of print options – gravure, flexo, offset and digital print – are available. In order to be admitted to the Schur Flexibles range of packaging, all sustainable products must also possess these qualities.
This shows that sophisticated packaging solutions and maximum product safety and convenience can be combined with greater sustainability. The innovative materials pioneered by Schur Flexibles are ideal for the packaging of sensitive products such as meat and sausages, poultry, cheese and others.
The importance of research and development
The centre-of-excellence concept at the heart of the Schur Flexibles Group is what makes such a comprehensive range of products possible. The group engages in extensive research at state-of-the-art facilities belonging to various members of the group that each have their own R&D specialisation. Each facility focuses on those aspects and solutions that highlight a particular member’s expertise. This ensures that complementary solutions are pioneered across the group, thus providing a multitude of benefits for customers.
Sustainable packaging enhances point-of-sale advantages
Utilising the modern, flexible and resource-saving packaging solutions offered by Schur Flexibles not only protects the environment but also ensures a competitive advantage at the point of sale. Sustainability is a criterion that increasingly influences consumers when they decide whether to buy a product or not. Therefore, the ability to advertise products by highlighting the sustainability of their packaging leads to significant market advantages.
Click here for more information about our 5 pillars of sustainability.
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