Corporate responsibility is very important to our clients as is the sustainability of packaging and we look to make a positive difference in packaging reduction and sustainability.
We see packaging reduction as something positive for our business
Using recycled and recyclable material is more sustainable for the future both in terms of carbon footprint and for the environment
Charpak believes that sustainability is the key to the future of the environment.
Packaging has a vital role to play in all of our lives. It sells the product. It protects the product and perhaps most vitally in an era where we throw away £8,000,000,000 worth of food every year, Plastic packaging if designed correctly also prolongs the shelf life of a product. This allows our clients to put less additives into their products.
Charpak is working with DEFRA, the Government and Trade Bodies to ensure that sustainability works throughout the life of our products. Charpak are one of the few Vacuum forming companies to be actively working in this area.
Sustainability is about optimising the life cycle impact of packaging and minimising the environmental impact of Plastics. Charpak embraced the use of recycled materials over 10 years ago. The vast majority of the plastics Charpak is currently using is a recycled grade of material.
rPET stands for Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate and is a food-grade recycled PET.
The SPI (Society of Plastic Industries) material code for PET is 1.
rPET’s recycled classification comes from a guaranteed minimum content of 50% post-consumer waste. This is directly from the consumer, principally from carbonated drink bottles.
The outer layers are made from Virgin PET and the inner layer is made from the post-consumer waste. This multi-layer structure also gives rPET its certified food contact assurance.
By manufacturing from rPET this ensures that this packaging is not only made from recycled material but can also be recycled after use.
In addition Charpak uses another type of rPET this is 100% Recycled post-consumer waste. This product is super cleaned, homogenised and re-extruded as glass clear rPET This product is FSA/FDA approved for direct food contact.
An interesting little known FACT:- The energy cost of producing a Tonne of recycled rPET is ONE THIRD of the cost of recycling a Tonne of Carton Board. Recycling plastics also saves fossil fuels used as a raw material with the attendant carbon saving.
Biodegradeable & Bio-compostible
There are two types generally available Plantic and PLA (Poly Lactic Acid)
Plantic is made from a by-product of the Corn Starch industry. This product is water soluble so can only be used for dry products. It is produced both as a "clear" product (about the same clarity as Polypropylene (PP)) and as a coloured product. It is in use in the UK in some premium chocolate and premium biscuit products.
PLA is again made from a corn starch by-product, however this product is both water and heat resistant. Generally within the UK it is used as a window for a carton rather than used in a vacuum forming.
Both of these products currently do not have a route to the waste stream. Plantic can be sent to landfill and will biodegrade, however there are a lot of food products that have a water content for which Plantic cannot be used.
PLA needs both heat and moisture to biodegrade. The route to the waste stream is through commercial composting. There are currently about 17 such sites around the UK, however there is no way to get PLA Vacuum formings to these centres as there is no kerbside collection by any Local Authority and if PLA is put into general waste it will go to landfill.
For both of these products Charpak believes that there needs to be kerbside collection and delivery to a commercial composting site to make it viable to recommend using them.
Charpak is at the forefront in producing innovative designs to take to the food industry to enhance their offering to consumers using both recycled plastics and end of life usage. This can be either a closed loop recycling scheme or a secondary home use.
Contact Charpak to see what we could design for your business.