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Thành Phú Packaging wins an ERA award for mono-material packaging – a reverse-printed flat bottom pouch for dog food

Thành Phú Packaging, has won the 2021 Gravure Award for Sustainable Packaging, awarded by the European Rotogravure Association (ERA). The Vietnamese packaging printer received the award in the category ‘Printed Products’ for an excellently printed, fully recyclable mono-material packaging solution. Thành Phú is a family-owned and operated flexible plastic packaging company.

“The switch from multi-material to mono-material packaging is one important lever towards achieving full packaging circularity,” says Ralf Hildenbrand, President Packaging Americas & Global Technology, PSR and Sustainability at Siegwerk. “But as this switch comes with many technical hurdles and challenges, we are more than excited that a customer project for mono-material packaging was honored with ERA’s Gravure Award for Sustainable Packaging now.” 

Thành Phú’s winning mono-material packaging is a reverse-printed flat bottom pouch for dog food. It is a fully recyclable MDO-PE/PE structure suitable for large volumes of up to 20 kilograms. The pouch was printed with a haptic (sand touch) and a matte coating from Siegwerk in double-in-register. The upper part of the pouch design applied the sand touch effect to offer a better and safer grip on the bag. 

“This perfectly reflects our philosophy at Siegwerk, that packaging circularity and performance need to work hand in hand for good market acceptance,” adds Casimir Rowan, business unit head Flexible Packaging SEA. “And functional coatings provide a great opportunity to achieve this successfully.”

“With our winner pouch, we have now been able to show that full PE structures can also be excellently printed with rotogravure, which provides our customers with a wide range of special effect varnishes and inks, together with consistent quality,” explains Alex Dam, executive vice president, Thành Phú. 

“We have created a premium look pouch with perfect double-in-register-printing results and good sealing capabilities with two coatings in different thickness.” Next to its full recyclability, the awarded flat bottom pouch convinces high stability, excellent sealing strength, and outstanding printing appearance. By June 2021, the same printed packaging has already received the ‘Made for Recycling’ quality seal from Interseroh, one of the leading service providers for sustainability, underlining its good recyclability.

Thành Phú’s recyclable Veloflex

The packaging printer continuously works on recyclable alternatives to conventional laminated film structures, aiming for easy recyclability and full circularity. Thanh Phu’s fully recyclable Veloflex solution has helped consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies to address packaging sustainability challenges, starting in Southeast Asia extending into Europe and North America. 

Now, the company offers ‘Made for Recycling’ mono-PE solutions for a full range of flexible packaging applications from general to barrier- replacing the traditional structures consisting of BOPA, BOPET, VMPET, or BOPP laminated with PE. Flexible mono-PE laminated packaging solutions like the one awarded from Thành Phú offer the potential to be recycled in the same collection stream as other PE material, which shows their crucial value in the sense of a circular economy.

“Independent from the printing process used, it is always about matching functionality and recyclability,” adds Khanh Tran Thi Quoc, head of sales, Flexible Packaging BU, Vietnam. “Here, the right adjusted ink systems and coatings play an essential role to meet both technical requirements in terms of performance and recyclability as well as optical and haptic packaging requirements.” 

In other words, they help to fulfill consumer expectations and thereby further drive the general acceptance of sustainable mono-material packaging. A higher consumer acceptance will then help to drive the implementation of full PE laminated packaging solutions into other applications and packaging formats going forward, another important step towards a circular and more sustainable packaging industry.

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– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

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