Printers, trade shops and manufacturers alike are capturing accolades for their endeavors to protect planet, people and profession through smart production and collaborative partnerships.
FTA’s 2023 Sustainability Excellence Award winners are but four examples.
Their game-changing packaging processes/applications were engineered explicitly to tackle challenges of environmental responsibility, while working within existing infrastructure. Each continues to win praise, recognition, acceptability and adaptation within the package printing and converting community.
By their very nature, the processes and product lines increase recyclability, promote circularity and shrink carbon footprints. They encompass:
- Expanded gamut (EG) printing
- Recyclable and resealable flexible packaging
- Lamination-free monoweb films
- Printable and tunable light barrier coatings
Firms receiving the prestigious honor recognizing faithful stewardship of the environment—two process-based, two product-connected—list out as follows:
- RKW Finland Oy/Marvaco Oy: Winner, Sustainability Programs
- Sun Chemical Corp: Winner, Innovations in Sustainability
- AWT Labels & Packaging: Honorable Mention, Sustainability Programs
- Siegwerk: Honorable Mention, Innovations in Sustainability
On the plant or sustainability programs level, processes developed and implemented by Marvaco/RKW and AWT were deemed to have served to reduce the environmental impact of printing and simultaneously improve workers’ health/safety.
Innovations in sustainability distinctions highlighted Sun Chemical’s and Siegwerk’s inclusion of new technology, formulations or techniques, developed to mitigate printing’s effect on Earth’s ecosystem, as well as its contributions to bettering people’s physical well-being.
AWT Labels & Packaging’s Honorable Mention
“Fully Recyclable Resealable Flexible Packaging”—Minneapolis-based AWT Labels & Packaging’s entry—described fully recyclable reseal flexible packaging with numerous environmental benefits:
- The package does not require the amount of material needed to create a traditional reseal package with a zipper closure
- Over time, less material used in production equated to less material employed to produce the same number of packages
- Most notably, the primary package and closure are made from the same material, so the consumer can put the entire package into conventional recycling streams, avoiding the need to separate the closure from the primary package
- Having no extra work to do increased the probability that consumers recycled the package
- There was also no separation requirement when the package reached the municipal recycling facility (MRF)
Bill Orme, marketing manager at AWT Labels & Packaging, explained, “This package addresses a real need in the recyclable space; a peel and reseal construction that does not have to be separated into multiple parts for the recycle-ready portion to be introduced to a recycling stream. Consumers can put the entire package into a recycling container, knowing that all of it will be recycled.”
Echoing those words, Judge Christian Rios of Handgards commented, “A resealable package that is recyclable without separation is a great way to reduce waste! The consumer does not need to move the contents to a different container to keep the contents fresh. This reduces the number of disposable bags that are used. Making the closure and package out of the same material greatly increases the chances that the package is properly recycled.”
FTA congratulates this year’s winners on such outstanding accomplishments!