Challenges to be more sustainable
IMCD highlighted solutions
More than just a plastic reduction
Weight reduction can give more than just the benefit of using less plastic. Fewer resources will be needed, less energy, CO2 emissions and less total waste residues in your manufacturing plant. Apart from that, production, storage, and shipping costs will also be reduced thanks to the weight reduction.
Rethink the structure and processing conditions of your part or film
In order to evaluate the options to adapt your part or film to reduce its weight, it is necessary to rethink the structures from the design. Trying to adapt your available resources and machinery as much as possible to the new design may seem a big challenge. Still, in the end, simple changes can give significant benefits.
Many new polymers, additives, structures, and techniques have been developed over the last years in such a direction. Brands and consumers are pushing to reduce the amount of plastics in their packaging, and final consumers are increasing their demand for on-the-go and non-breakable packaging.
Move from rigid to flexible packaging
Weight reduction is usually related to thin walls, downgauging films, and sometimes this may end up compromising the required mechanical, thermal properties or aesthetics of the product.
It is essential from the beginning to have a clear idea of the required properties of the final film or package. Properties such as oxygen barrier, temperature resistance, and mechanical and scratch resistance may be crucial to define the minimum required weight or thickness to get a balanced package.
Moving from rigid to flexible packaging gives much more flexibility when trying to obtain such balance. Flexible packaging allows mono or multi-material structures and mono and multilayer options that can optimise both weight and performance.