Companies from the entire plastic food packaging industry such as Danone, SP GROUP, Klöckner Pentaplast, Knauf Industries, Comexi, Cadel Deinking, Artibal or Plásticos Romero showed the attendees and the media their latest developments in a space designed to exhibit their innovations.
The event organised by AIMPLAS and AINIA was a meeting point for more than 350 professionals of the food barrier packaging industry.
On 29 and 30 May, the fourth edition of MeetingPack took place in Valencia, an event that has already established itself as an unmissable international event for the plastic food packaging industry and which on this occasion has brought together more than 350 professionals from the sector under the slogan ‘Sustainability trends in barrier packaging: towards Objective H2030’.
The sustainability of packaging and especially single-use packaging is a matter of concern to the society and around which European legislation is being developed in order to promote more eco-friendly packages. The industry has been aware of this need for many years and it is already adressing this matter with new developments thanks to innovation.
MeetingPack 2019 was an excellent opportunity for companies to show their developments to the industry and society. For that purpose, sponsors and speakers had a special area to showcase their most innovative products.
For example, attendees were able to meet the latest innovations in packaging of Danone. One of them was the so-called lanjarón RED bottle, a 1.25 litres bottle that is 100% rPET and 100% recyclable, being the packaging with the largest quantity of recycled plastic of the brand. The multinational has thus made a step forward in its commitment to sustainability. In 2016, their commitment was focused on using 15% of recycled plastic in this entire range. Thanks to this bottle, it has made significant progress in recycling solutions and the recycling of the plastic material used.
Knauf Industries talked about its latest innovations in expanded polystyrene (EPS) and expanded polypropylene (EPP). They introduced two sustainable alternatives that are gaining ground in the food-contact plastic packaging value chain due to their high performance and recyclability. In this respect, innovations like compartment systems with EPP modular partitions that make possible to have two different temperatures in one packaging. Thus, one box can contain fresh food (at 2 ºC) and frozen food (a -18 ºC) at the same time. Thanks to this, cold packaging can be easily distributed optimising both economic and environmental costs and making distribution more flexible. Besides, Enplater Group introduced its latests developments in more eco-friendly films, including more sustainable barrier films for the fabrication of flexible food packages.
Comexi discussed the challenge of sustainability through the developments of products that combine both environmental concern and aesthetics. Additionally, they exhibited packages with visual effects such as transparent windows or paper touch effects as tools to attract consumers. On the other hand, Cadel Deinking talked about the use of recycled material as a replacement for virgin resins and presented their bags for automatic packaging, which are 50% made of deinked recycled plastic. In this way, the company offers an added value to post-consumer materials.
Furthermore, SPGroup talked about PE HB ECO packages made of recyclable material with a polyethylene-based structure and high barrier properties. These high transparent materials are remarkable due to their capacity to withstand thermal treatments such as pasteurisation, hot filling and microwaves.. PE HB ECO packages are very interesting for a large number of foodstuffs.
Klöckner Pentaplast introduced, among other developments, an rPET recyclable tray made of at least 95% of post-consumer recycled material, which reduces the carbon footprint and obtains, with minimum weight, maximum resistance. The company exposed two of their eco-friendly rPET trays, ELLIPSE(E)® – a form, fill & seal solution- and ELITE® – a 100% rPET tray and lid suitable for MAP applications.
In the MeetingPack exhibition area, we were also able to see the first oxygen-barrier PVOH coating to be applied in the printing and lamination process of flexible structures, shown by Plásticos Romero, which has been developed within the COAT4PACK project. This novel development was introduced during the conference talks by two of the partners of the projects, Plásticos Romero and Artibal. These new packages replace co-extruded EVOH structures with more sustainable ones. In particular, it has been achieved to reduce both the manufacturing process and the thickness of the multilayer barrier structure. For that purpose, oxygen barrier coatings have been developed to be applied by means of printing technologies that allow the lightening of the structures of food packages in comparison with the multilayer EVOH structures.
Leading industry companies such as Unilever and AMC Juice talked about their Circular Economy strategies and how they are addressing the challenge of reducing, reusing and recycling their packages.
Lastly, AIMPLAS and AINIA introduced two projects in which they are participating. On the one hand, the NIASAFE project, focused on analysing, monitoring and minimising the migration of Non-Intentionally Added Substances (NIAS) to food-contact packaging and, on the other hand, the REFUCOAT project, which is focused on developing new materials to package food in a more sustainable way. Within this project, barrier coatings are being developed, as well as bioplastics to be used in films and trays as an alternative to the current aluminium-based structures.
In this edition, MeetingPack had the support of the following sponsors: Knauf Industries and Enplater Group (Gold sponsors), Polyram, Kuraray, Plásticos Romero, Mitsui Chemicals, Zwick-Roell, Systech Illinois, Bemis and Hinojosa (Silver sponsors) and Mondi, Grupalia Pack, TPL and UBE (Bronze sponsors), as well as the support of food companies, associations and bodies such as Acesur, Angulas Aguinaga, Carretilla, Coren, DCOOP, GAC, Hero, I+DEA (Grupo Cerealto Siro Foods), Noel, Ecoembes, Fundación Plastic Sense, ANAIP, Cicloplast, ATEF, Embalaje Flexible España, ASOBIOCOM, AVEP, FEDACOVA, REDIT and PACKNET. Mass media such as Packaging Europe,EPPM, Eurocarne, Futurenviro, Plast21, Gestores de Residuos, Retema, Revolve, Cárnica 2000 and Tecnopackwill also participate as media partners.
By Concha Bosch