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Filling & Packaging 06.07.2012

Flexible Packaging Reduces Energy Consumption First

Most sustainability energy mantras say “Reduce first and then optimise”, with…

Most sustainability energy mantras say “Reduce first and then optimise”, with renewables where possible.

Because flexible packaging can be assembled at the filling plant from rolls of material, there is no need to transport the empty, but already formed packaging, from the packaging converter to the filling/packaging facility, hereby saving a significant number of truck journeys on our congested European road network. For example, it would take approximately 26 truck journeys to transport the equivalent quantity of pre-formed packaging from the manufacturer to the filling factory whilst it would require only one truck load for the equivalent quantity of rolled flexible pouch material.

Flexible packaging not only occupies minimal space during the inbound transport, but also on the outbound transport of the filled product to the retailer/consumer. Optimised transportation of filled packs made from lighter and thinner materials means more product per truck load which in turn equals less energy consumption. Comparing the difference between transporting a beverage packed in a 0.2 l flexible stand-up pouch with a 0.2 l glass bottle, we see that product packed in foil-laminated pouches requires half the number of standard truck loads due to the lower weight and reduced space between the products. Another significant reduction in the energy needed to get the product to you the consumer.

These energy savings translate directly to a reduced overall environmental impact. On top, the reduced truck loads along the supply chain help reduce traffic congestion in the cities and on the highways. And this leads to more energy savings due to a more fluent traffic and less frustration for drivers. Flexible packaging provides both effective and efficient packing solutions largely because it can optimise the combinations of different materials to maximise the practical functionality of the packaging and optimize the cost whilst reducing the environmental impacts throughout the product’s lifecycle.

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