ESPOO, Finland, June 20, 2018 (Press Release) -Consumers are more and more aware of the environmental effects of packaging. With Walki’s sustainable materials, companies can respond to the growing demand and reduce their ecological footprint.
Currently, the vast majority of the world’s flexible packaging is made of plastic. However, according to a North American report published by the worldwide packaging authority Smithers Pira, food and drink packaging is increasingly expected to be recyclable and made of sustainably sourced materials. The trend is global; in the UK, in a survey conducted by Populus, over 90 per cent of the UK public support the idea of having a supermarket isle dedicated to the sale of products that are entirely free of plastic packaging.
Walki’s flexible packaging solutions enable smaller ecological footprints by replacing traditional plastic packaging with paper-based alternatives coated with eco-friendlier solutions, such as biodegradable and plant-based, renewable polymers.
The products have gained traction after they were launched at the Interpack fair in Düsseldorf last year. , Technical Sales and Research and Development Manager at Walki, says that the tests have proven promising, as virtually any product can be packed sustainably without excessive use of plastic. Stand-up pouches, pillow bags and four-corner bags can all be made of paper-based materials.
“Paper is, by default, renewable and recyclable,” he explains. “The coating can be customized to meet the product’s needs as, for example, coffee and baked goods require different kinds of properties from their packaging.”
The most frequently needed features in food packaging are moisture, grease and oxygen protection. However, as not all items need the same level of protection, using just the right amount of barrier helps ensure the packaging is as sustainable as possible. For example, because paper is stiffer than plastic, paper-based materials facilitate a firm structure without overpackaging.
The solutions suit even the most demanding products, such as four-corner bags. The most common packages, pillow bags and stand-up pouches, could effortlessly be manufactured with much less or no plastic. According to Torkkola, the cost isn’t necessarily any higher, either, with the optimization of materials and producer responsibility fees favoring sustainability and recyclability.
Now, consumers have the opportunity to seize the moment and demand sustainable packaging from food manufacturers.
“Many companies already have set dates for when they aim to have all of their packaging made of sustainable solutions, such as fiber-based materials,” Torkkola says. “Walki wants to be at the forefront of this change, helping clients find the right solutions for their specific needs.”
Walki in brief
Walki Group is a leading producer of technical laminates and protective packaging materials, specialising in the production of fibre based, intelligent, multilaminate products for markets ranging from energy saving construction facings and construction membranes to barrier packaging applications. The Group has plants in Finland, Germany, the Netherlands, Poland, the UK, Russia and China with a workforce of about 950 people. Annual net sales for the Group in 2017 were 318 million Euros.