Belgium’s Verstraete IML changes aspects of packaging process to address sustainability

Optimizing use of plastics and cardboard

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Minimizing impact on the environment
Minimizing impact on the environment

In order to move towards a sustainable production system, Belgium-based in-mould label (IML) specialist, Verstraete IML has changed some aspects of its packaging process. This resulted in an optimization of use of plastics and cardboard for packaging and logistics, leading to less waste, without compromising on quality.

The number of steps the company has taken includes replacing the top plate on its distribution pallets to a heavy duty cardboard plate, thus replacing 30 tons of plastic waste by 18 tons of cardboard waste; re-calculating the dimensions of the anti-slip sheets used between stacked boxes on pallets, resulting in up with 670 kg less waste per year; opting for automatic folded tray lids instead of manually folded lids, leading to 250 kg less cardboard waste per year; using a thinner type of plastic to protect labels from humidity has save up to 1.400 kg per year in plastic waste; and using thinner plastic bags used in the pallet boxes has resulted in 1.200 kg less plastic waste per year.

However small these improvements may be, one of the promises we make towards the community, our customers, partners, employees and other stakeholders, is to continuously take into account the bigger environmental picture. Because every step towards a more sustainable production process matters,” according to the company.

The company says that sustainable development is of great importance and it is continuously striving to minimize impact on the environment.

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.

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