Sustainable Package Offerings
American Packaging Corporation (APC) offers a broad portfolio of sustainable packaging solutions designed for the flexible packaging market. These solutions are complementary to the three pillars of the New Plastics Circular Economy which include creating an effective after-use plastics economy, drastically reducing the leakage of plastics into natural systems, and decoupling plastics from fossil feedstocks. Offerings include:
Source Reduction is a focus on reducing the environmental impact of a laminate structure with little sacrifice to packaging performance or throughputs. This option is often considered a cost reduction exercise. Potential options can include down gauging of substrates within the laminate or transitions from highly energy intensive materials like foils to less energy intensive options like metallized films. The result of source reduction is less energy consumption and a lower carbon footprint.
Design for Recycle focuses upon the circularity concept where we transition away from the single use disposal model toward a model where the value of the plastic has retained value. This plastic is collected, reprocessed, and available as a valued feedstock to replace virgin resins. In the US market, a collection system has been established for flexible packaging in a system called front of store drop-off.
Inclusion of Post-Consumer Content (PCR) is important to drive the demand for recycled plastic materials. Sources of PCR are available for both food and non-food applications.
Inclusion of Bio-Based (Renewable) Content is important to displace the need for petroleum-based feedstocks. Based upon the current rate of plastics packaging production (both rigid and flexible plastics), it is estimated that the plastics sector will account for 20% of total oil consumption and 15% of the global carbon budget by the year 2050. Change is needed and the use of bio-based plastics is encouraged as a solution. There are a variety of bio-based solutions that are available that can be utilized in both standard as well as design for compost laminations.
Design for Compost focuses upon the use of microorganisms to break down bio-degradable materials into carbon dioxide, water, heat, and humus. The composting process must function under certain conditions of heat and oxygen. Typical bio-degradable materials are rated for industrial composting which uses higher temperatures. A smaller selection of materials can be sourced for home composting.