Alternative material, Design for Recycling, Circular Economy, Material reduction, Sustainability, Recycling

Greiner Packaging says “We love sustainable plastics” at lunch!

03/09/2021 | 3 min read
Rachel Sheldon

Greiner Packaging will be exhibiting on stand C33 at the lunch! event at ExCel in London from 23rd to 24th September ­– during National Recycle Week – with the theme “We love sustainable plastics”.

“The lunch! show will be the first ‘live’ event in the sector since the pandemic, and Greiner Packaging is exhibiting there for the first time,” says Greiner Packaging Market Development Manager Rachel Sheldon. “Our team of experts is looking forward to explaining why we love sustainable plastics, and with the UK Plastic Packaging Tax taking effect from 1 April 2022, the timing is perfect to demonstrate the benefits of our plastic tax-exempt packaging solutions.“

“It’s also appropriate that 20th to 26th September is National Recycle Week as our mission is to use increasing amounts of recycled content in all of our packaging, and to ensure that all packaging we manufacture is 100% recyclable.”

Towards a circular economy

“Greiner Packaging has been producing sustainable packaging for the food industry for more than 60 years, and our vision is to design and form sustainable plastic packaging solutions for a more livable future, worldwide,” says Rachel Sheldon. “Our mission is to create added value for our customers every day and enrich the lives of consumers around the world. Through innovation, we develop aesthetic, convenient plastic solutions that are also sustainable.”

“Plastic is a must for cups, bottles, and similar types of packaging, as it allows their contents to be transported and extends the shelf life. Packaging made of plastic is especially lightweight, so causes only small amounts of CO2 during transportation. But it doesn’t make sense to use it once and then discard it. Instead, it needs to be kept as a resource in the economic cycle. Greiner Packaging is committed to moving from a linear economic system to a circular economy, and our aim is to keep plastic out of nature and in the economic cycle for as long as possible, so that today’s consumer goods become tomorrow’s raw materials.”

“Four years ago, Greiner Packaging signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment launched by the UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation, setting the goals that by 2025: we will aim to make all our plastic packaging 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable; use as much recycled material as possible; and eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging.”

Greiner Packaging has also pledged to implement various measures as part of our involvement in numerous national and international partnerships – such as joining the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and through our support of Plastic Bank. Our UK factory in Dungannon, Northern Ireland, is also on-track to become carbon neutral by 2025.

Rachel Sheldon, Market Development Manager at Greiner Packaging

The UK Plastic Packaging Tax

In April next year, the UK Plastic Packaging Tax will be applied to plastic packaging manufactured in, or imported into, the UK where the plastic used in its manufacture is less than 30% recycled.

The most sustainable of Greiner Packaging’s plastic tax-exempt packaging solutions is the perfectly recyclable K3® cardboard-plastic combination, which consists of a cup made from PET or recycled PET (r-PET), wrapped in a removable cardboard sleeve which can also be made from recycled materials.

“Thanks to its reduced plastic content, the K3® packaging solution is exempt from the upcoming plastic-tax and has an improved CO2 footprint. It can also be recycled efficiently, as the cardboard and plastic can be easily separated,” says Rachel Sheldon. “K3® represents another significant step in our journey to helping our customers to add value, while also delivering on our circular economy commitments.”

The future of plastic packaging

Greiner Packaging values diversity in terms of material use and is focusing on a broad portfolio of packaging materials which includes PET, PP, PS, and also bio-circular materials. When it comes to using recycled materials, most of the industry is currently only working with r-PET, while Greiner Packaging is already in a position to favour either r-PET or recycled polypropylene (r-PP), and can produce the majority of its products using either material.

Greiner Packaging UK & Ireland recently invested over £3,700,000 in a new PET decontamination and extrusion line to enable the use of more recycled materials in its market leading cup and tub ranges, as well as continuing innovation with more sustainable materials.

Until now, PET has faced the major challenge of heat resistance and has not been used for dairy packaging, as the dairy industry applies high temperature steam sterilization (HTS) to disinfect cups before filling. Greiner Packaging has now successfully developed cups made from PET and r-PET that are heat resistant up to temperatures of 120˚C. This not only allows their use for dairy products, but also for hot drinks and dry soup or noodle ready-meals that are filled up with boiling water before consumption.

In another exciting development, Greiner Packaging has successfully produced a food cup made of premium polyolefins obtained exclusively from second-generation waste and residue streams. The new BornewablesTM line of products is manufactured by Borealis and offers the same characteristics as virgin polyolefin materials while boasting a substantially reduced carbon footprint. A life cycle analysis has shown that using BornewablesTM substantially reduces a product’s carbon footprint by at least 2.7 kg CO2eq for every kilogram of polymer, representing a saving of up to 120% in comparison to fossil-based PP.

“Visitors to stand C33 at lunch! will see a wide variety of sustainable foodservice packaging solutions and will be able talk to our experts about our plastic tax-exempt packaging options,” says Rachel Sheldon. “Through innovation, Greiner Packaging is working with every viable material to deliver efficient and eye-catching packaging solutions for the food industry. Recycled plastic is the future, and that’s why we love sustainable plastic.”

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