Unilever launches first of many recyclable mono-material packaging with Mondi
The company claims it wants to collect and process more plastic packaging than it sells by 2025 and will further collaborate with Mondi to expand the recyclable material to other products from the brand.
Thomas Kahl, project manager EcoSolutions, Mondi Consumer Packaging, told BakeryandSnacks each product and it’s packaging process has its own requirement on the packaging material.
"We are always aiming to find the best possible material construction for these products, avoiding ‘over-engineering’ but ensuring maximum sustainability, product safety and (cost-) efficiency. Whereas, this mono-PP solution might find other application in the food sector, we are not limiting ourselves to this specific material construction," he said.
Unilever contacted Mondi Kalenobel in January 2018 with the challenge of replacing a multi material laminate, with a recyclable mono-material film alternative.
Cüneyt Karci, key account manager, Mondi Kalenobel, said the challenge was getting the necessary oxygen and water vapor barriers and all other physical and chemical tolerances with the mono-material at the same level as the current non-recyclable packaging. It also needed a product that would work on the same production machine.
Institut cyclos HTP
The packaging preserves the shelf-life of the food product and does not impact the runability on the production machines. The packaging material by Jindal is certified as recyclable by the Institut cyclos HTP.
Unilever’s drive to find more sustainable packaging is part of its commitment where 100% of the plastic packaging used in its products is reusable, recyclable and compostable by 2025.
“The most important step in eliminating plastic waste is preventing it getting into the environment in the first place,” said Atahan Özgünay, R&D package development manager for Unilever’s Knorr and Lipton brands in North Africa, Middle East, Turkey and Russia.
MondiEco-Solutions works with its customers to understand their sustainability goals and deliver packaging that is sustainable by design.