Packaging can make homecare more sustainable

Mondi promotes the opportunity for innovative packaging to empower a more sustainable homecare sector

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Mondi packaging
Mondi promotes the opportunity for innovative packaging to empower a more sustainable homecare sector. Photo Mondi

Mondi, in packaging and paper, has highlighted the power of packaging in creating a more sustainable homecare industry. Thomas Kahl, head of Sustainable Packaging Solutions FMCG and Industrial Channels at Mondi Flexible Packaging, addressed industry leaders at the Smithers International Cleaning Products Conference in Prague on 29–30 March 2022 and discussed the ways in which packaging can help manufacturers become more proactive in their approach to the environment.

This was an opportunity to share insights with the global homecare market, which grew at an unprecedented rate in 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and is expected to grow at a faster rate than pre-pandemic levels over the coming years. This increased demand means more products are being produced, with more waste to be dealt with responsibly.

The EU plastic strategy aims to transform the way plastic products are designed, produced, used and recycled in the EU. It’s vital for the environment but also for commercial success as consumers are increasingly pivoting towards brands that are taking more meaningful steps to address sustainability. 64% of consumers (across France, Italy, Poland and Spain) said they have switched to household brands that have adopted a more sustainable packaging solution in the past year alone.

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As a leading provider of sustainable packaging solutions, Mondi can help the homecare industry to close the loop of circularity through its customer-centric EcoSolutions approach – by closely collaborating with customers and suppliers to balance resource efficiency with the lowest possible environmental impact.

There are many factors to consider and it can seem complex, but the aim should be for manufacturers to balance resource efficiency with the lowest possible environmental and social impacts. There is no ‘perfect’ solution, but the packaging itself serves an essential purpose and Mondi used the event to highlight some of the different packaging approaches that can be employed to help turn the tide of climate change.

MondiOne key step in Mondi’s approach is to explore opportunities to reduce material use in favour of more sustainable alternatives – related to the packaging as well as the product itself. This can be seen in a collaboration between Mondi and UK supermarket chain Tesco where the companies worked together to develop a fully recyclable mono-material pouch for Tesco’s dishwasher tablets.

Another approach is to replace plastic packaging with paper or bio-based alternatives. Mondi’s Functional Barrier Paper is a range of recyclable paper-based packaging with tailored barrier properties that reduces the amount of plastic used and provides moisture and vapor-proof packaging.

For the home and personal care industry, in particular, the use of post-consumer recycled material is an effective alternative that reduces the reliance on fossil-based primary resources. A large number of resin producers are currently investing in additional mechanical recycling facilities that will increase the availability of materials, while chemical recycling can address hard to recycle plastics and provide much needed post-consumer resins suitable for food application.

MondiA refill option, meanwhile, is perfect for ensuring that where plastic does need to be used, it is created well, then refilled and re-used for a long time. Mondi has worked with market leader Henkel to create a lightweight, recyclable refill pouch for its dishwashing liquid, which can then be decanted into its 100% recycled PET pump dispenser. This move helps Henkel consumers reduce plastic by 70%.

Mondi is uniquely positioned to cater for the home care market, providing paper, plastic and hybrid solutions to offer tailored packaging for companies operating in the brand and private label spaces. With state-of-the-art technology, investment, ongoing research and development and innovation and a truly collaborative approach, Mondi’s experts help brands and private labels in the homecare industry drive progress.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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