The sustainable revolution for food packaging from an all-made in Italy supply chain

Published on "Il Sole 24 Ore" December 2020

Milan, 11th of December 2020 - From the collaboration between Novamont, SunChemical Group, Ticinoplast and Uteco Group - an all-Italian supply chain of industrial and technological excellence - a new concept of food packaging is born, which responds to the growing demand for packaging with a lower environmental impact and which for performance and characteristics it has no comparison on the world market.

beverage packaging

By sharing their respective technological know-how, Novamont, SunChemical, Ticinoplast and Uteco Group have developed a solution that combines the biodegradability, compostability of materials (biopolymers, inks, adhesives, barrier products and substrates) with extrusion, printing and lamination techniques. first in the world. The flexible film thus obtained is optimal for food packaging having similar technical characteristics to the solutions currently adopted but being able - after use - to be used for the collection of the wet fraction and sent for subsequent industrial composting.

Novamont's flexible Mater-Bi bioplastic film, extruded with Ticinoplast technology, is treated with Aerbloc Enhance / SunChemical barrier lacquer, printed with Aqualam / SunChemical water-based inks and laminated using a SunLam / SunChemical compostable solvent-free adhesive using printing technology and lamination of Uteco Group.

It is a solution that enables the creation of a wide range of laminated structures, which can be adopted for the production of many types of food packaging on multiple automatic, horizontal and vertical packaging lines, as well as various preformed bags.

Concepts such as recyclability and eco-design - also thanks to the stimuli of a consumer increasingly oriented to direct their purchasing and consumption choices towards products packaged with less bulky and more sustainable packaging - are significantly changing the packaging sector and the real challenge today is make it easy to adopt these solutions.

"Thanks to our supply chain, packaging sector operators and brand owners can have a "one-stop-shop" in which to obtain the complete solution, tailored to everyone's needs, without having to spend time and energy in selecting individual suppliers of various components necessary for the realization of the specific solution ”, declares Aldo Peretti, president of Uteco Group.

“Companies are now required to make a joint effort that allows them to create sustainable solutions for food packaging throughout the supply chain and in a short time. In this perspective, the innovation contribution that each partner brought to raw materials, processing technologies, printing machines, inks, adhesives and coatings was an indispensable element for the success of the initiative "says Fabio Deflorian, CEO of SunChemical Group Italy.

"In this particular moment in which the push towards sustainability is very strong, collaboration between several companies becomes a fundamental element to allow the process of technological innovation to be significantly accelerated, leading to the creation of solutions suitable for food packaging that respects the environment ”, Comments Paolo Rossi, CEO of Ticinoplast.

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Novamont is an international leader in the bioplastics and biochemicals sector. Through a new model of sustainable development, it promotes the transition from a product economy to a system economy, focusing on the enhancement of territories and on products capable of redesigning entire application sectors and reducing the costs of externalities on the environment and society. . It has its roots in the Montedison School of Materials Science, where some thirty years ago some researchers began to develop the ambitious project of integration between chemistry, environment and agriculture: "Living chemistry for the quality of life". Today it is a group made up of four production sites, two research centers, commercial offices in Germany, France and the United States. Over the years it has developed 5 proprietary technologies that are the first in the world and around 1800 between patents and patent applications; invests 5% of turnover in research activities and 22% of employees are dedicated to research, development and innovation activities.

SunChemical Group, a member of the DIC group, is a leader in the production of printing inks, paints and additives, pigments, polymers, liquid compounds, solid compounds and application materials. Together with DIC, Sun Chemical has over 20,000 employees located in 176 branches in 63 countries who work every day to meet customer needs by improving the performance of essential business elements, such as reliability, on-time delivery and consistent product quality.

Ticinoplast has been present since 1967 on the European market of polyethylene and polypropylene films for flexible packaging in the food, industrial, pharmaceutical and electronic sectors. The knowledge of converting processes - especially printing, laminating and packaging manufacturing - as well as the various packaging machines allows Ticinoplast to supply its customers with films that guarantee the highest levels of performance on the market. The increased attention to environmental issues and sustainability has led Ticinoplast to create products created to meet the needs of the circular economy, such as films designed for the production of mono-material, compostable and renewable packaging.

Uteco Converting is the Italian company world leader in the production of specific printing and converting machines for the most diverse flexible packaging applications. The Group has four production plants and an R&D center in Italy and an office in the USA, with a workforce of over 350 employees and consolidated know-how in over 35 years of experience. It provides innovative and flexible solutions starting from a wide range of flexographic, rotogravure, digital and hybrid printing machines, laminators and coaters, offering training and assistance services at 360 °. On the strength of the solid financial structure of the fund managed by NB Renaissance Partners of which it has been a member since 2018 (together with Novamont), it proposes itself to the market as a 4.0 partner that develops special and personalized configurations of high technological value, with a continuous commitment to research and innovation and engineering skills of final solutions. Its competitive advantage includes its commitment to environmental protection and the protection of people, which is reflected in intelligent and environmentally friendly products and technologies.