WHAT IS IMPORTANT FOR
DEVELOPING SUSTAINABLE PACKAGING?
Optimal packaging has to satisfy many requirements. In addition to the needs of consumers, commercial traders, and manufacturers, the demands for developing end-user product packaging that is less of a burden on the environment are increasing steadily. This necessitates a close look at the waste-disposal process in relation to packaging waste.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE
DISPOSAL OF YOUR PACKAGING?
In order to develop design-for-recycling packaging, it is crucial to understand what happens to packaging after it has been disposed of in the containers (bags or bins) intended for it. It is not only the packaging material itself but also its construction and the combination of materials used in it that are the fundamental factors for determining good sortability and recyclability.
During the sorting process, packaging is separated in terms of size and material, thanks to a variety of processes. Scanners and sensors are able to recognise the different materials and allocate them to the different material flows. It is suboptimal at this point if, for example, a yoghurt container is made out of plastic with a stabilising cardboard sleeve glued to it and an aluminium cover still hanging on to it. Such combinations that cannot be separated in an automated way during the sorting process cannot be clearly allocated to any particular material flows, which means that this packaging is not recyclable.
VISITING A SORTING PLANT
From the comfort of your own office, you can take part in a digital workshop that allows you to visit the individual stations of a sorting plant where packaging waste is brought to after its collection. Videos moderated live by us show the daily practices in a sorting plant. Small groups are able to question our experts directly. A more thorough look at individual sorting stations is also possible – whatever you need.
If you are interested, please contact us.
AND DESIGN FOR RECYCLING
Insight into how sorting plants work is essential for developing design-for-recycling packaging. We would of course also be very happy to assist you directly in your development, without the need for a virtual visitation of a sorting plant. Our packaging engineers have sound expertise when it comes to materials and designs. Sorting processes have become second nature to them.
We also have extent knowledge about the statutory requirements and are able to provide you with competent advice and support in matters of packaging development, packaging optimisation, design for recycling, and the requirements of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG).
If perhaps you would simply like a rough estimate about the recyclability of your packaging, we would be happy to provide you with this. Such a rough estimation can be the first step towards making the design of your packaging more sustainable and for improving the recyclability of your end-user product packaging. If you are interested, please contact us.
Additional information on more in-depth packaging analyses and on certifications is available under Packaging Analysis.
The general requirements governing packaging are defined in Paragraph 4 of the German Packaging Act (VerpackG). Packaging designed in accordance with this is meant to maximise sortability and recyclability of the end-user product packaging.
Amongst other things, the packaging should meet the following criteria:
- its volume should be kept to a minimum;
- harmful effects for people and the environment should be kept to a minimum when it comes to the reusing, the processing for reusing, recycling, and any other recovering and disposing of the packaging;
- the emergence of harmful or hazardous substances during the waste-disposal process should also be reduced to a minimum;
- the percentage of secondary raw materials should be as high as possible in order to conserve primary raw materials.