Approximately 65 editors and business journalists registered and logged in to the first virtual Südpack press conference on 7 July 2021. The film manufacturer deliberately chose the digital format in order to provide both the national and international press with comprehensive information about “Sustainability at Südpack” even during the corona pandemic. The first virtual Südpack exhibition also launched at the same time and its digital doors are now open to customers and interested parties around the clock, 365 days a year.
In addition to the corona pandemic and the persistently critical situation in the raw materials markets, the current economic situation of the Südpack Group and the paradigm shift in the packaging industry were the starting point of the highly informative press event. Erik Bouts, CEO of Südpack, outlined the political, legislative, environmental and economic conditions in this context – and directed the participants attention to the challenges that producers, packers and retail face now and in the years ahead. The guiding principle: Sustainability must be thought of holistically on all levels of the process chain and as part of a continuous optimization process of an entire industry.
The main focus of the event, however, was the Südpack Sustainability Report. For the third time now, the film manufacturer voluntarily published an extensive report, which documents the sustainability objectives that have been achieved in the fields of environment, economy and social responsibility while also defining current and future projects. Südpack is concentrating on the further development of its product portfolio with a focus on the four main aspects of recyclability, material efficiency, renewable raw materials and a circular economy.
Sustainable product portfolio
Early on and as one of the first suppliers in the market, the Ochsenhausen-based company has focused on the development of concepts that are particularly resource-conserving, efficient in their use of materials and, above all, recyclable. This is because for specific fields of application, such as the food industry, high-performance plastic films will continue to be essential in the future for various reasons.
The film structures of the Pure-Line portfolio, for example, set standards in the market. The Pure-Line family includes mono-materials made of PE, PP and PET that provide the same protection and convenience as conventional film structures.
By 2025, roughly half of the company’s turnover is to be generated by sustainable products. The current share of turnover is approximately 35%.
Sustainable production processes
Südpack has put particular emphasis on the implementation of efficient material management. The site in Schwendi serves as its Competence Center for Processing and Recycling Reusable Materials. Integrating in-house regranulation is a milestone on the path to sustainability and demonstrates the company’s commitment to an internal circular economy without compromise. The film waste that results from production in the German sites is collected in sorted groups and then processed in Schwendi for purposeful recycling.
This has made it possible to reduce raw material consumption and waste quantities in nearly all stages of manufacturing at Südpack in recent years.
Solutions for a functioning circular economy
In its position as a leading manufacturer of high-tech films, Südpack also sees itself as a driving force in the industry and feels responsible for the entire life cycle of its packaging materials. The goal is to firmly anchor a functioning circular economy for flexible packaging not only in its own processes, but also in the market – and to make a pioneering contribution to a circular economy as well as to decarbonization and CO2 reduction. It is in this context that the film manufacturer is pushing in particular for the recognition of chemical recycling as a complementary recycling technology to mechanical recycling. “By doing so, we are making a massive investment in a future that is characterized by the responsible use of valuable resources,” said Erik Bouts.
Chemical recycling makes it possible to take multilayer, mixed or even contaminated film composites that could not be mechanically recycled up to now and extract new, high-quality base chemicals in a way that conserves resources. The plastics that are recovered are then suitable for producing high-performance films, which can be used to package demanding products with high quality and hygiene standards, for example in the food industry.
Excellent information and communication platform
A brief overview of Südpack’s social involvement and a view of what is to come from Südpack in the months ahead in terms of sustainability completed the successful event.
A key platform for information and communication is Südpack’s first virtual exhibition. It is open 365 days a year, 24/7. The virtual exhibition can be visited at any time with this link https://exhibition.suedpack.com