Flexible packaging made its mark at the 2020 German Packaging Awards. There were 38 outstanding innovations in each of the 10 competition categories, and these are some of the winners highlighting flexible in various categories.
Wipak's first-ever award in the competition for sustainable packaging was concept for Green Haven vegetarian sausages, which was intended to balance recyclability with high levels of protection and production efficiency.
“The newly developed vacuum packaging is composed of two adhesive-free, unprinted PE films, forming a mono-material,” says Susan Janssen, sustainability manager at Wipak. “By integrating the Digimarc Barcode, quick scanning with any smart device is made possible. This not only enables customers to lookup product ingredients and nutritional data, but could be used by recycling centres at the end of the product lifecycle too, as part of the sorting process.”
The Green Haven pack also features an FSC-certified paper banderole, which can be easily separated from the main plastic body and disposed of alongside paper waste. The plastic content remains unprinted, ensuring material quality stays high even after recycling. The company says that the result is a >90% PE-based mono-material that is easy to use and recycle, with an overall carbon footprint reduction of the packaging film of up to 30%.
DUO PLAST AG
DUO EARTH 4, submitted by DUO PLAST AG, makes it was possible to incorporate post-consumer regrind (PCR) with a proportion of at least 25% in stretch film formulations without experiencing significant performance losses in the performance of the films. The panel believed it sets new benchmarks in the use of recyclates in the stretch film area and at the same time meets the requirements for optimal load securing. The developed film quality is characterized by a very economical thickness of currently 8 µm with excellent holding forces. The edge of the film, which is particularly susceptible to use, is protected by the patented DUO DOUBLE EDGE (DDK).
SÜDPACK Verpackungen GmbH & Co. KG
The Pure-Line System from Südpack is a film solution that was developed to enable the change from the familiar tray system to a recycling-friendly PP tubular bag and also saves around 60% plastic material. It meets the high-barrier requirements for fresh minced meat. This system no longer needs voluminous trays, but rolls with thin film that have to be transported to the meat producer and the packaged minced meat also has a lighter packaging. In addition to the savings on packaging material, other raw materials can be saved and CO2 emissions reduced.
The ORMOCER and bio-based and biodegradable BioORMOCER coatings developed by Fraunhofer ISC are highly functional and, with very thin layers of 1 - 3 µm, can achieve barriers comparable to those offered by other multilayer structures. The multifunctional ORMOCER or BioORMOCER coatings enable the use of recyclable polymeric mono-materials or paper-based and biodegradable packaging materials for food or pharmaceutical packaging. If there are good oxygen barriers but only low hydrogen barriers in bio-based packaging today, bioORMOCER achieves an excellent barrier effect against water vapor, oxygen and aromas. This allows polymers, bio-based or biodegradable biopolymers as well as paper or cardboard can be equipped with the barrier that is often necessary for food or pharmaceuticals. With this coating, even with high barrier requirements, recyclable monomaterials or paper and compostable materials can replace the previous multilayer packaging and make a contribution to the circular economy.
Wash-off labels made from 100% PCR material were developed by HERMA in cooperation with Polifilm and schäfer-etiketten. It consists of a PE film, the polymer content of which is 100% post-consumer recycled material. Even the master batch used is based on PCR-PE. The white label film is designed to be very easy to print with the usual printing processes such as flexographic, offset, digital and screen printing. HERMA 62Rpw is a wash-off adhesive that can be removed without residue in the recycling process at temperatures as low as 70°C and a low concentration of caustic. Commercially available wash-off adhesives, on the other hand, usually only work from approx. 80°C.
FRoSTA Tiefkühlkost GmbH
Frosta's paper bag for frozen foods has a low CO2 footprint, high recyclability and unchanged product protection under the special challenges of freezing. The outside of the bag is made of unbleached and uncoated kraft paper, which is printed with water-based inks, and the product side is made of high-density special paper that guarantees the necessary product protection. The packaging can therefore easily be recycled via the waste paper. With the bag, a significant increase in recyclability is achieved as well as a clear ecological advantage in terms of climate emissions compared to plastic packaging.
STROBEL's cardboard dispenser box for dental floss, made from 100% renewable raw materials, is made of cardboard and underlines the harmonious concept of product and packaging. Due to the construction and the direct printing, there is no need for additional packaging. The jury sees a clear differentiation from existing products on the market by dispensing with plastic and still guaranteeing long-term use as worthy of the award.
Syntegon Technology's TPU1000 paper forming machine is a form, fill and seal system for three-dimensionally shaped paper-based packaging material, which is about to be launched on the market, helping pave the way for new packaging solutions made of fiber-based materials that meet the trend toward replacing plastics. The highly stretchable paper used for this allows wrinkle-free processing of the roll as well as a detailed reproduction of small embossed elements. This means that attractive and diverse small-volume packaging can be produced in an efficient processing process.
The award-winning ROVEMA CBF opens up completely new possibilities in bulk material dosing and feeding processes, which have been largely excluded from efforts to increase flexibility down to batch size 1, in that the coupling between the dosing and filling processes has been removed and a variable distribution level has been introduced. A linear motor-driven shuttle system creates variance in portions between different dosing systems with different filling goods and one or more form, fill, seal machines. This opens up a wide range of possible combinations that are controlled by the range of products for the respective packaging machine as required. The technical implementation is innovative, compact and scalable.