Sweets with sustainable packaging
Innovative packaging technologies that increase and promote sustainability or reuse are important for all types of food. At the ProSweets Cologne event, running from 30 January to 2 February 2022 there will be a focus on sustainable packaging for the snacks and confectionery industry. Visitors can take a peek at how to best utilise not only innovative packing materials, but also highly flexible machines to process them.
The snacks and sweets industry is interested in switching over to eco-friendly materials such as paper or recyclable mono films and related packing processes.
Paper and cardboard are seeing gains in their popularity in this sector as they can be simultaneously ecofriendly and functional thanks to recent advances. They are even being used where plastic previously would have been the preferred form of packaging. Technologies such as integrated hot sealing and moisture barriers resistant against steam make these recycling forms of packaging hygienic and protective without making sacrifices for the environment.
“What was still inconceivable for most suppliers a few years ago has developed much further in the meantime because more and more fibre-based packing alternatives with barrier functions are replacing plastics,” said Peter Désilets, Executive Director of Pacoon GmbH. As a partner of Koelnmesse, the Munich agency for packaging design and sustainability is presenting solutions for sweets and snacks in the scope of a special exhibition in Hall 10.1. With his reusable concept for crisps, Désilets and the Pacoon team want to open up the discussion and demonstrate at ProSweets Cologne that a “solution has to rethink more than just the packaging itself”. The Sustainable Packing Institute SPI for the Life Science Industry of the Albstadt-Sigmaringen University will also be part of the Packaging Special Event of ProSweets Cologne. The SPI primarily occupies itself with biogenic resources, functional materials, smart packaging, bio-economy and sustainability.
Packaging machine builders also have to contend with the move away from plastics and how this will gel with their current supply chain offerings. Custom-built modular systems, the use of robotics and flexible retrofitting of old machinery to accept modern materials are all driving the sustainability of packaging for machine builders. Machines that enable a good sealing and foil run behaviour or the exact processing of boxes are just as important as packaging machines that can be changed over to new formats quickly.
The portfolio of the exhibitors at ProSweets Cologne includes machines from case packers, to pick-and-place lines, through to tubular bag machines. In many of the presented packaging lines for sweets and snacks, both plastic as well as carton packaging can in the meantime be processed. Theegarten-Pactec will for instance be demonstrating in Cologne how producers of bars can process its products in tubular bags made from paper-based packing materials. The machine builder has further processed the modular high-performance packaging machine responsible for this in such a way that it can complete the job using either cold or hot sealing processes. A further innovation of the company from Dresden is a suction sealing technology that wraps bars and filled chocolates in recyclable mono film in letter folding format with or without a banderole allowing the same performance level and which makes the use of composite materials superfluous.
Practice is however also demonstrating that paper-based alternatives for stand-up pouches and flat pouches, deep-drawn trays, shells and blisters are still in the early stages of development. For example, paper only tolerates little tension during an automated packing process and can tear more easily. The use of plastic is still particularly necessary when it comes down to guaranteeing a long sell-by date through especially tight packaging. Under this aspect, mono films unite product protection with recyclability, because their single-origin material allows the plastic to be reused. Even small-sized and sensitive chocolate products, filled chocolates or pastries can be optimally packed in thin polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or polypropylene film (PP) using material-saving methods. Furthermore, PP can be processed in such a way that the film is sealable.
For more information, visit https://www.prosweets.com/.
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