The increased awareness around sustainable packaging has led to consumers being more conscious about their purchasing decisions and shopping choices, highlights carton packaging systems and solutions provider SIG corporate responsibility director Michael Hecker.
According to professional services firm Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial Survey, 91% of this generation will switch to brands that champion a cause they relate to, additionally, another study revealed that seven out of ten Millennials are willing to pay more for “a product with a conscience”.
Consequently, SIG’s packaging materials will come from certified responsible sources by 2030, which will make its packaging solutions the most sustainable on the market, he adds.
To help its clients offer sustainable packaging to their customers, SIG provides a range of solutions that are scalable and designed to help users gradually develop more responsible products in their sustainability journey.
Hecker highlights the company’s carton packs that are designed to use minimal materials – most of which are renewable and all of them are recyclable.
He explains that independent life-cycle assessments show SIG carton packs offer a significantly better environmental profile for a range of products, including long-life food, ultrahigh temperature (UHT) processed milk and noncarbonated soft drinks, than alternative packaging.
Locally, packaged goods company Pioneer is using SIG’s innovative combismile packaging solution for its Ceres juice, while dairy farming operation Fair Cape decided to make use of the combiblocSlimline carton pack to package its products.
SIG Combibloc Obeikan COO Abdelghany Eladib adds that, as a leader in responsible farming and milk production, Fair Cape is at the forefront of driving sustainability and being kinder to nature in terms of the earth and animals.
Fair Cape wanted to drive the sustainability message through its products and push the mission of UHT packaging recyclability in South Africa by using the combibloc Slimline carton pack, he adds.
Meanwhile, as the uptake of more sustainable solutions grows, SIG’s portfolio of responsible products continues to expand. In many markets around the world, SIG is considered a frontrunner in sustainability.
“We were the first in our industry to make it possible that our customers worldwide can choose to display the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) label on any of our packs.”
One of the SIGNATURE aseptic structures was the first to be fully linked to wood-based renewable materials through mass balance.
“We were first to offer beverage cartons made with recycled polymers produced from post-consumer plastic waste. And we were also first to introduce paper straws for aseptic beverage carton packs.”
Hecker adds that the company was also the first to offer carton packs using aluminium foil certified to the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative standard. And, with our combibloc ECOPLUS, SIGNATURE and Heat&Go packaging structures, we were the first in the aseptic carton industry to eliminate the layer of aluminium foil, Hecker explains.
SIG is also continuing to improve the efficiency of its new filling machines and introduce technical upgrades to help clients reduce resource use from existing machines in their factories.
He adds that the latest upgrade reduces water consumption by up to 50% and can be combined in a ‘green bundle’, with a kit that can reduce energy use by about 85% during production stoppages.
The SIGNATURE packaging material comprises up to 82% FSC-certified wood-sourced paperboard, which provides packaging stability. And also the polymers used are fully linked to wood-based renewable materials via mass balance.
The FSC Chain of Custody allows for the tracing of the raw materials used in the paperboard back through the supply chain to sustainably managed forests. FSC standards require forest management that supports biodiversity, prevents deforestation and degradation, and respects the rights of workers, local communities and indigenous people.