When we talk about the (delicate) environmental impact of industrial packaging, we often think about its disposal and recycling.
That is correct, but it is not the only point of view from which we need to address this issue.
The standstill on the disposal and recycling of industrial packaging waste touches on issues, already widely treated, such as compostability and the production of monomaterial films that can be recycled, as well as products created from bio based raw materials (as, for us, sugar cane), already able to promote their circular conversion with the technologies currently in use.
Focusing on the first phase of the supply chain, which is the raw material necessary for the production of packaging films, it is intuitive to understand how the circular economy asks us to find and use alternative materials to plastic polymers, for the production of films that nevertheless maintain the same mechanical and aesthetic characteristics as the traditional ones.
Our choice, experimentation and subsequent successful application went to sugar cane, from which it is possible to extract a polymer that can replace the traditional PE while maintaining the same functionality but with a 100% recyclable result.
The importance of the production process is often underestimated or not fully exploited when it comes to sustainable packaging. The environmental impact of a product must also be measured in relation to “how much its production affects the ecosystem”, that is, the amount of carbon dioxide needed to produce (and transport) it.
In particular, if we compare the amount of CO2 required for the production of traditional PE (+ 1.83/1.93) and that of green films (- 3.09) it is immediately evident that the "gap" is not negligible but, indeed, decisive in quantifying the relative environmental impact (data from Braskem and Plastics Europe surveys).