The current SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19-pandemic has underscored it once again: Protecting sensitive, vital products remains the key contribution that packaging solutions make to sustainability. Damaged, spoiled or even contaminated food and medical products are harmful for both human beings and the environment.

Film manufacturers like SÜDPACK Verpackungen GmbH & Co. KG are making a system-relevant and sustainable contribution to ensuring a safe supply for the population — and not just during the current “corona crisis.”

In the at-times heated debate over plastic packaging, this central aspect is often neglected: When it comes to protecting sensitive and easily spoiled food products like cheese, meat or sausages, in many cases there are hardly any equivalent alternatives for plastic packaging. “Choosing not to use plastics often means making significant sacrifices in product protection and shelf life,” said Erik Bouts, spokesperson for the senior management at SÜDPACK Group. Meat products, for example, have a longer shelf life of up to 25 days without compromising on quality and hygiene. 

“Plastic packaging and sustainability are by no means opposites,” Bouts added. “On the contrary, nothing has such a strong negative impact on the climate budget as the loss of resource-intensive products due to spoilage or damage. Our films prevent precisely these types of loss — and actively help protect human beings and the environment.”

Just how essential this aspect is can be seen in the current SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 pandemic: “Thanks to excellent barrier properties, many films also and especially protect their contents from contamination by bacteria or viruses, such as SÜDPACK's offerings.

This high level of protection explains why the German Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture now has classified film packaging solutions as system-relevant: by ensuring safe transport and helping citizens to plan and set aside provisions, they are a critical component of providing the population with safe, uncontaminated food products. 

Safe packaging for medical products

Not only for food products but also in the healthcare sector, film packaging solutions have become practically indispensable. In order to ensure the safety of patients and medical staff alike, sterile packaging is required for syringes, bandages, diagnostics and countless other healthcare products. Film packaging solutions are the first choice here since they not only protect against damage but also against contamination with germs.

SÜDPACK Medica manufactures tailor-made film packaging solutions for a broad range of medical, pharmaceutical, and diagnostic products – some of which are now being used to combat the spread of SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19. In Switzerland, SÜDPACK Medica has been a system-relevant KRITIS supplier and member of the Swiss MedTech association since many years. 

In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, SÜDPACK Medica has made its standards stricter and introduced additional measures to ensure e.g. the necessary distance between individual employees. “Our production sites are running at maximum capacity to safeguard the availability of urgently needed packaging for medical products,” said Thomas Freis, managing director of SÜDPACK Medica. “We reassess our priorities on a daily basis, so as to best respond to the most time-critical demands in connection with COVID-19 and do our part to combat this pandemic.”

Part of a comprehensive sustainability strategy

Protection and safety, both in its manufacturing processes and in the products themselves, should be central elements of a company's sustainability strategy. SÜDPACK states that achieving resource conservation through downgauging, as well as better overall recyclability through the use of recyclable materials and renewable raw materials, are two important parameters that the company uses to measure its progress in terms of sustainability. Over the past few years, the company has made major advances in all these areas.