Recyclable pouches

We take sustainable pouches from concept to reality

Recyclable pouches

Sustainable packaging has become an important topic. Flexible packaging exerts less of an overall impact on the environment than most other types of packaging (see “source reduction” statistics below), but a downside of flexible packaging is that much of it isn’t easily recyclable.

Recyclable pouch

For brands seeking recyclable packaging, we offer recyclable pouches made from mono-material, 100% polyethylene (PE). Clean, dry, 100% PE pouches can be recycled at store drop-off locations found at many supermarkets and grocery stores.

PE pouches provide a win/win/win solution: The environment, consumers, and brands all benefit. These pouches:

  • Provide recyclability without compromising durability or resealability.
  • Exude a distinctive look and feel that eco-conscious consumers recognize.
  • Reinforce the image of environmentally responsible brands.

Although PE pouches aren’t ideal for every type of product, examples of items that tend to work well in high-density PE (HDPE) pouches are:

  • Snacks
  • Sweeteners
  • Flours
  • Nuts
  • Baking mixes
  • Pet food
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Detergent packs

PE pouches can be further customized with closures, moisture barriers, and oxygen barriers to meet performance requirements.

Pouches made with post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials

For brands interested in packaging created from recycled materials, we offer various options:

Polyester (PET) pouches made from up to 90% post-consumer recycled (PCR) resin

These look and feel the same as PET pouches made without PCR materials. There are no trade-offs in terms of barrier, and no discernible differences between PET pouches made with PCR resin vs. non-PRC resin.

Polyester (PET) pouches made from up to 100% PCR resin

We are currently testing these materials to determine if there are any differences between these and other PCR options.

Polyethylene (PE) with up to 45% PCR resin

PE with PCR resin does look and feel a little different than non-PCR resin; there are some visual differences, as is typical with many materials made from post-consumer recycled content.

But there are no trade-offs in terms of barrier.

Pouches made from renewable resources

We can provide pouches made from bioplastics such as polylactic acid (PLA). PLA is derived from fermented plant starch (corn, cassava, sugarcane, or sugar beet pulp).

Industrially compostable pouches

PLA films are the primary option for compostable material in flexible packaging. PLA pouches are only compostable in industrial composting facilities; they will not biodegrade in backyard composting bins.

Source reduction

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers source reduction the most environmentally preferred strategy. Source reduction is any practice that reduces, eliminates, or prevents pollution at its source.

According to the EPA, lightweighting of packaging is an example of source reduction, and source reduction can:

  • Save natural resources
  • Conserve energy
  • Reduce pollution
  • Reduce the toxicity of our waste
  • Save money for consumers and businesses alike

We are experts in downgauging or “right-sizing” flexible packaging structures. We’ve also helped many leading brands convert from rigid packaging to flexible packaging, effectively reducing the source material required for each package.

Less waste in the first place

Compared to rigid plastic containers, pouches:

  • Use approximately 60% less plastic
  • Require approximately 50% less energy to produce
  • Generate less CO2 emissions during production
  • Result in less landfill waste through source reduction; flexible packaging represents only about 2% of municipal solid waste
  • Require fewer trucks for transportation — reducing fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions

 

Let's talk flexible packaging.

Ask us your packaging questions, and we’ll see how we can help you overcome your next packaging challenge.

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