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Home » Circular Economy » Expanding sustainable flexible packaging globally with polypropylene film

Alasdair McEwen

Business Unit Director Packaging EMEA, Innovia Films

Discover sustainable packaging solutions with recyclable polypropylene film. It’s lightweight, efficient and low-carbon plus accessible globally.

Consumers have increasingly been demanding more sustainable packaging. Flexible packaging (think pouches for coffee, nuts, pet food or grated cheese) represents the lowest carbon packaging option for a wide variety of products. It is lightweight, efficient and easily transported even over great distances.

Recyclable flexible packaging with polypropylene

The challenge for flexible packaging is to make it recyclable, as it often is made from mixed material laminates that are hard to separate. One solution involves utilising mono-material packs crafted from polypropylene (PP). This material stands out for its exceptional functionality, affordability and minimal carbon footprint. It’s locally manufactured in the UK, with global production sites ensuring timely supply to international customers across industries including food and beverage, as well as home and personal care.

PP film: an eco-friendly, versatile option

Recyclers have a lot of experience in recycling polypropylene material; think of yoghurt pots and ice cream tubs here in the UK. New recycling streams for PP film are now under development, which will allow waste film to be recycled back into film — closing the loop and supporting a circular economy for packaging.

Unrecyclable mixed polymer laminates can be replaced with all-PP recyclable versions in nearly all applications, including those with high technical demands, like retort pouches. Every product requires a tailormade packaging solution, accounting for the different ingredients and composition, to ensure product safety and shelf life for the consumer. The modern R&D laboratories that we have at our Wigton site, which are focused on materials science, are crucial to this.

Moreover, PP is increasingly produced from renewable, non-fossil sources, bolstering PP film as an eco-friendly packaging material — made in the UK.

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