What is sustainable packaging?

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Whether it be packaging for food, personal care, dairy or automotive, we are continuously designing new products to suit our customers’ needs. Whilst design and durability are key aspects to the development of a product, sustainability is always top of mind. Knowing what sustainable plastic packaging is, is important to understanding what we do in our company. RPC Astrapak ensures that the impact on the environment is recognised during the manufacturing process thus embracing a philosophy of “creating more value with less”.

So, what is sustainable plastic packaging? Environmental sustainability is a key pillar of RPC Astrapak’s sustainability foundation. Through innovative product design and manufacturing using environmentally friendly equipment, we can incorporate crucial factors in achieving our environmental sustainability goals such as energy-saving initiatives, energy and carbon management, raw material consumption and recycling, water conservation, and waste efficiency.

These are the ways in which sustainable plastic packaging can be achieved.

1.              The product is beneficial, safe and healthy for individuals and communities throughout its lifecycle. We are constantly collaborating with suppliers and customers making sure to use the best possible methods to reduce the amount of virgin plastic raw material used in our manufacturing process and optimising the use of renewable and recycled materials.

2.              Optimise the use of renewable or recycled source materials. Various industry-wide initiatives related to the collection and recycling of various plastic products are supported. By collecting and re-purposing the plastic waste to create new products, we ensure a substantial reduction in waste to landfill.

3.              Products are manufactured using clean production technologies and best practices. Replacing ageing hydraulic machinery and introducing environmentally friendly equipment such as hybrid or all-electric machinery reduces energy consumption by between 30% and 80%. By ensuring that product is manufactured to the right quality first time, every time, prevents the re-manufacture of non-compliant product.

4.              A variety of products are made from materials that are healthy in all probable end-of-life scenarios. From food packaging to car oil containers, our packaging is developed considering post-use as well. In the rapidly evolving environment of sustainable packaging, products can either be reused, recycled or reinvented to reduce the impact on landfill sites and incinerators.

5.              Scrap material is effectively recovered and utilised in biological and/or industrial closed-loop cycles. Waste off-cuts from the manufacturing process are collected and recycled back into production, which results in minimum wastage. Any other waste that cannot be recycled internally is sold to third parties for them to reuse or recycle.

Environmental sustainability is a crucial aspect in any business today, and at RPC Astrapak we are committed to keeping abreast with new technologies and industry trends to assist our customers and suppliers in achieving their sustainability goals. Each step of the way in delivering innovative solutions – from concept to design, material, finished product and impact on transportation – ensures environmental sustainability has been incorporated across all of our plants.

Mylene Paynter