Waterless Internet Flower Packaging, a remarkable breakthrough in packaging of flowers by Uflex, has bagged the Sustainability Awards 2018. It also emerged as a frontrunner in the ‘Resource Efficiency’ category that honors innovations in packaging that do more with less, such as down-gauging material or reducing the carbon footprint without increasing the environmental impact of the packaged products. Uflex’s entry won both the awards at the Sustainability Awards ceremony that took place on 23 October 2018 at Scanpack in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Sustainability Awards, hosted by Packaging Europe, is a comprehensive and rigorously judged initiative that recognizes the packaging industry’s top achievement in innovative packaging design, material, technologies and processes. The competition challenges the industry to take a holistic approach to sustainability and to bring out the best ideas around improving the environmental footprint of packaging. The 2018 edition of the Sustainability Awards chose winners in six categories: Resource Efficiency, Driving the Circular Economy, Bio-Based Packaging, Best Practice, Machinery, and Recyclable Packaging. The overall winner of the Sustainability Awards was chosen from the shortlisted entries in these six categories. The awards received over 100 innovative submissions, which were graded by a panel consisting of –17 experts representing the breadth of the European packaging value chain.
Based on the principle of Active Modified Atmospheric Packaging (AMAP) through Flexfresh, the Waterless Internet Flower Packaging is a special patented polymeric film, offering shelf-life extension solution for fresh fruits, vegetables as well as flowers. The special film, Flexfresh, is the first 100% biodegradable film that maintains the hydration of flowers during transpiration, thus creating a closed loop system, according to the makers. The film keeps the flowers breathing in hydrated oxygen and releases excess humidity keeping them touch dry. The flowers can go without water for a significant number of days as the humidity is fed back and the flowers continue to breathe in the modified atmosphere.
Elated at winning the Sustainability Awards 2018, Ashok Chaturvedi, chief managing director of Uflex said, “This has been a great year for Uflex with our innovation Waterless Internet Flower Packaging walking away with top honors at the Sustainability Awards and another win just a month back at the Dow Packaging Awards. The awards are a reaffirmation of our efforts in optimizing sustainability footprint and business performance standards to deliver the highest levels of quality.”
N Siva Shankaran, vice president, Flexfresh at Uflex added, “In addition to multiplying the shelf-life and slashing energy consumption in the supply chain for flowers, Uflex is applying Flexfresh to a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Uflex is currently testing its new improved Flexfresh with high clarity, which could replace conventional bags/pouches in supermarket shelves.”
Tim Sykes, Packaging Europe’s head of content, said, “The ever growing engagement in the Sustainability Awards reflects the increased urgency with which consumers and regulators have demanded solutions to environmental problems associated with packaging in the past few years. Not only that, it also reflects the serious thought and investment the whole packaging value chain has been putting into sustainability. In selecting it as the overall winner of this year’s competition, our expert, independent judging panel has endorsed Uflex’s Waterless Internet Flower Packaging as a clear case of sustainable innovation which creates significant energy reductions in the supply chain.”