Dairy products’ packaging: there is not a single path toward environmental footprint reduction
No one can nowadays plan to install a high-volume packaging line without a single thought for its consequences on the environment. Everybody now agrees on the idea that packaging has to become more sustainable, but opinions are divided on the way to reach that goal.
How can therefore dairy companies steer their investment policy so as to act positively on the packaging issue?
We believe one good way is to think local and get ready to process new packaging materials.
Waste management is a local issue
Packaging’s impact on the environment cannot be significantly reduced without a collective and coordinated action of manufacturers, consumers and public services on waste disposal.
And since infrastructures and habits vary from one country to another, it sounds natural that such actions are defined locally.
Therefore, it seems important that dairy companies get involved in local discussions about waste management across the country, not promoting a particular packaging material but rather understanding and adapting to the available recycling process in each place. This way, they can best ensure their packaging are properly disposed of, sorted and recycled.
New packaging materials are becoming a real option
PLA (Polylactic Acid), for example, is developing as an alternative to conventional plastics. Produced out of starch and biodegradable, PLA is very similar to PS in terms of mechanical properties and can be processed in films on existing equipment.
All it needs to boom is enough interest to urge plastic manufacturers multiply production units around the world.
Dairy companies should already consider how they can adapt, in the coming years, their production lines to new materials such as PLA. They should address the problem both from the technical and economical point of view to make sure they can implement packaging innovations without adding too much to the retail price.
As a packaging line OEM, we are convinced that the environmental issue must be addressed without delay, but in a thoughtful and effective way.
We aim at supporting all initiatives that can have positive effects for our planet through the development of circular economy and biodegradable materials.
“Process as effectively PS, PET and PLA, through adapted cutting technology”
We offer FFS (Form-Fill-Seal) lines which can process as effectively PS, PET and PLA, through adapted cutting technology. Material can thus be chosen depending the technological maturity and available recycling infrastructure in each region.
These lines can be quickly adapted to a new material. This way, foodstuff manufacturers are not trapped in their initial choice and can respond to changes in local regulations and take advantage of material innovation.
We also offer FS (Fill-Seal) lines that can fill any type of cups, including glass and terra cotta ones which can be either returned or recycled.
We are confident that, together with dairy companies and local authorities, we can combine food safety with sustainability in solutions that will make individual yogurts and milk drinks accessible worldwide.
J.A. Larmaraud - Senior VP Business Development Synerlink.