The global pandemic has brought to the forefront the necessity to adapt to remain sustainable.
More than ever, sustainable practices must be integrated into every step of a manufacturer’s operation to survive. So, it is no surprise that this year, the annual FTA Sustainability Excellence Award program was the most competitive it has ever been, drawing nearly triple the average number of high-quality entries in its 22-year history.
Through this competition, companies are recognized for outstanding Sustainability Programs and Innovations in Sustainability.
This year’s award winners are:
- Industrias de Plasticos SA de CV (INPLASA), of Valle de Amarateca, Francisco Morazán, Honduras C.A., for Sustainability Programs
- Footprint LLC, of Gilbert, AZ, for Innovations in Sustainability
Additionally, two companies were awarded Honorable Mentions for Innovations in Sustainability: Sun Chemical of Parsippany, NJ and TC Transcontinental Packaging of Chicago, IL.
Sun Chemical’s “Recycle-Friendly Washable Inks for Plastic Packaging” entry demonstrated the company’s significant work to promote sustainable solutions. Together with its parent company, DIC Corp, Sun Chemical is the No. 1 global supplier of organic pigments and printing inks, with a sizeable market share in adhesives and coatings used to enable all types of sustainable packaging.
The company’s recycle-friendly ink solutions, including the SolvaWash FL product line, are drop-ins for today’s flexographic printing processes to enable more recyclable and sustainable plastic packaging. The inks do not require special primers and therefore do not add extra cost or weight.
The SolvaWash inks were designed to be removed and separated from recoverable plastic substrates in today’s mechanical recycling processes, which improves recyclability of packaging and enables industry certifications that are important for brand owners. Inks can be removed cleanly from printed films in caustic wash solutions, so that premium quality plastic flake can be recovered without discoloration of the flake or the wash solution. This increases both the quality and quantity of recycled plastic flake and reduces wastewater contamination, which enables a reduction in the environmental footprint of the plastic packaging and recycling industries overall. Material is more recoverable and recycled to higher-end applications, increasing the true circularity of the industry.
Due to the taxes and fees being imposed by Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) systems for plastic packaging, it will become increasingly more cost-effective to produce and put into the market more recyclable packaging. “Sun Chemical’s SolvaWash inks will drastically reduce waste and improve plastics recycling throughout the world,” said Competition Judge Tiffany Bartz of Tapecon. “It is a very promising and innovative solution to the plastics recycling business.”