Austrian companies to focus on circular economy for packaging

Austrian companies to focus on circular economy for packaging

Plastic packaging has been under the limelight in recent years over the way it is discarded, creating problems for oceans and the environment in general. Now, in a collaboration with six other companies from the Austrian packaging industry, injection moulding machine manufacturer Engel has founded the Verpackung mit Zukunft (Packaging with a Future) platform. The aim of the initiative is to improve public awareness of the meaningful use of packaging. The companies are taking an active role in the development of a global circular economy for plastic packaging.

Reduce, Replace, Reuse, Recycle – these are the tasks that must be fulfilled to ensure that packaging has the least possible impact on the environment. The seven companies which founded the platform – Alpla, Greiner, Coca-Cola Österreich, Nestlé Österreich, Interseroh, Erema and Engel – say they are already making important contributions towards achieving this with their technologies.

The focus of the joint commitment is plastic packaging and the handling, disposal and recycling to allow for consumer acceptance. And though it has lost its shine, compared to packaging made of other materials, plastics often have a significantly better CO2 footprint.

Engel says it is doing its part in areas like process consistency, with its so-called intelligent assistance systems, such as iQ weight control, making it possible to consistently produce high-quality plastic products despite fluctuating raw material quality. This paves the way for widespread use of recycled materials. On top of this, Engel says it is collaborating with processors as early as the product and process development phase of many projects in order to continually reduce the amount of material used and facilitate the subsequent recycling of the products.

With their technological innovations and many joint projects, the seven founding members of the platform are also establishing new standards for sustainable packaging at a regional level. In an open dialogue with politicians, organisations and the public, they are making a decisive contribution towards a differentiated perception of plastic packaging.

"The circular economy is an interdisciplinary challenge,” as Dr. Stefan Engleder, CEO of the Engel Group, makes clear. "Only together can we successfully master this challenge and quickly take the first comprehensive steps.”

"We will not be able to master many of the challenges of the future without plastics," Engleder emphasises. "It's not the material that is the problem, but how it is handled. This is why we are increasingly leveraging our know-how and experience to ensure that plastic packaging can be produced, used, disposed of and recycled in a sustainable manner worldwide."


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