The world’s fourth-largest producer of flexible packaging, Constantia Flexibles, signed the Global Commitment to eliminate plastic pollution. The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in collaboration with UN Environment. It was officially unveiled at the foundation’s Ocean Conference held on October 29 in Bali and signed by 250 organizations.
Researchers estimate that more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the early 1950s. About 60 percent of that plastic has ended up in either a landfill or the natural environment. If current trends continue, there could be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050.*
“As a global flexible packaging producer and a company committed to sustainability from the very beginning, we have of course recognized the importance of actively contributing to the circular economy,” says Alexander Baumgartner, CEO of Constantia Flexibles. “Taking part in the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is one aspect of our strategy for more sustainable packaging.”
Measures to reduce plastic pollution
One of the most important targets of the Global Commitment vision is transitioning from linear to circular packaging models. Participating companies and organizations have made the commitment to focus on developing packaging innovations which ensure easy and safe reuse, recycling, or composting. Therefore, Constantia Flexibles recently pledged that 100% of its packaging will be recyclable by 2025.
“To achieve these goals, we are focusing on those products which are already currently recyclable in practice and at scale. Additionally, we are strengthening development efforts directed at overcoming the challenges of problematic or unnecessary non-recyclable packaging,” explains Thomas Greigeritsch, vice president of group sustainability at Constantia Flexibles.
Constantia Flexibles’ solutions to support a circular economy
Ecolutions—a recently developed packaging line from Constantia Flexibles—meets these and other sustainability requirements while having all the properties required to protect the packaged products. Mono PE laminate EcoLam is one of the products in this new line of packaging solutions. Its OPE/PE structure is fully recycle-ready due to its mono-material structure. Another example of the new product line is EcoPouch, made of a high proportion of renewable resources.
In addition, Constantia Flexibles is currently testing an entirely fresh approach to more sustainable food packaging. Paper made from the renewable resource grass is manufactured without bleach or other chemical treatments.
“These are just some of our solutions aimed at making our packaging, including our plastic packaging, 100 percent recyclable. The real question is not whether a world without plastic pollution is possible but what we will do together to make it happen,” says Thomas Greigeritsch.