Eco-design is an important aspect of Resource Efficiency, influencing waste prevention and improved recyclability.
Waste Management is a key driver for Resource Efficiency and waste prevention is at the top. Reducing the quantity of waste generated in the production process of cartonboard packaging has been a central focus for the industry for many years, which has long recognised the economic and environmental benefits of waste reduction.
The environmental benefits of recovering paper for use as a secondary raw material are well appreciated and cartonboard manufacturers are working to optimise its use and thus reduce waste. Increasing efficiency of stock preparation through investment in modern technology has led to an increase in the recuperation of recovered fibres, by several thousand tons per year, and the reduction of rejects from the production process.
Cartonboard manufacturers have worked to light weight their products over many years. For example, a carton packaging for frozen food products is 20% lighter today than it was in the 1970s. (Source: INCPEN)
Carton manufacturers are also continually working to reduce the amount of materials used and substantial savings have been achieved through clever design solutions. For example, reducing the flaps on biscuit cartons.
Good recyclability of used cartons also depends on good eco-design. The planning and design phases of carton solutions contribute significantly to waste prevention.
Informed choices of auxiliary materials such as Inks and Coatings is also key to good eco-design. Sheetfed inks are integrating up to 100% renewable vegetable oils, and deliver significant improvements, including the reduction of VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) emissions. Converters realise significant savings in energy consumption by rapid setting during the printing process or reduced paper wastes through quick start-up in production.