Coffee sustainably packaged
- Polypropylene monomaterial packaging 100% recyclable - Designed for recycling
- Ideal product protection and aroma barrier
- Printable high barrier film: EXTENDO BOPP film from TAGHLEEF INDUSTRIES
- PP-sealing film with wide sealing window and low seal initiation temperature (SIT) from POLIFILM EXTRUSION
Looking at Europe alone, around 3.2 million tonnes of coffee were consumed in 2018, according to CBI, the centre for promotion of imports from developing countries. Considering that a large proportion of this coffee has to be placed appealingly and above all safely at the point of sale, it quickly becomes clear that the sustainability concept should not end with the certified bean because particularly, the sales packaging offers potential when it comes to the well thought-out use of resources and participation in the circular economy. One example is the cooperation project between process & packaging technology expert Syntegon, film manufacturer TAGHLEEF INDUSTRIES and film extrusion specialist POLIFILM EXTRUSION. The companies have developed and manufactured a PP monomaterial solution that is characterised by very good barrier properties and convinces with ideal process capability and optimum printability. The result: best aroma and product protection combined with 100% recyclability.
“The choice of mixing different coffee beans does very often provide a highlight in flavours of coffee blends. However, when it comes to plastics, mixing different materials results rather in structures which do not meet recyclers’ approval.”, says Jens Kölble, Head of Packaging & Performance Films POLIFILM, thus emphasizing the importance of mono-material packaging. For decades, coffee packaging with its aluminium-containing composite was a classic example of poorly recyclable solutions. The main reason for the long lasting popularity of this packaging form was the lack of a substitute for a reliable aroma barrier in combination with a suitable sealing film. The polypropylene (PP)-based monomaterial solution from the cooperation project addresses exactly this problem. While TAGHLEEF INDUSTRIES printable BOPP film EXTENDO has excellent barrier properties, POLIFILMs PP sealing film convinces with a wide sealing window and an early seal initiation temperature, also known as SIT (Seal Initiation Temperature). The wide sealing window allows larger tolerances in machine settings and thus stabilizes the packaging process. To ensure that the solution can be processed on common packaging machines, the POLIFILM developers focused on the minimized SIT of the PP sealing film. This is necessary when using BOPP as an outer layer in order to achieve a sufficiently wide sealing window in the common heat sealing process despite the lower temperature stability compared to conventional PET.
"The right sealing starting point and the appropriate sealing temperature are decisive in the processing and beyond," Kölble continues. "They determine the subsequent functionality as well as the resilience of the solution. The crucial product protection provided by the stability of the packaging solution is also a key criteria for Syntegon, the supplier of process and packaging technology.
"Our goal is to ensure a consistently good packaging quality with high machine efficiency and availability, also with new sustainable packaging materials," says Mr. Torsten Sauer at Syntegon and adds "In addition, it is important to us to support our customers in the changeover to a sustainable packaging material. In doing so, we are pleased to accompany our customers all the way to the finished product on the shelf".
Product tests with TAGHLEEF INDUSTRIES and POLIFILM films have proven that both can go hand in hand. Syntegon successfully processed these both into flow packs and reclosable stand-up pouches with zipper. By avoiding the use of a further group of materials in addition to the PP used, the resulting packaging can be recognised by recycling machines as PP monomaterial and can be materially recycled without further separation. Returned to the cycle of materials, the resulting recyclate is used again in other plastic applications.
This concept can be applied not only to coffee packaging, but also to the design of other sustainable food and non-food packaging, such as for detergent or hygiene products.