Fact check No. 4: conscious use instead of elimination
Why don’t we just do away with plastics? In view of the worldwide waste catastrophe, the desire for a plastic-free life is understandable – at least emotionally. However, from a rational standpoint, this will not do justice to either the plastics or the actual world we live in. For two reasons: For plastics
- fulfil countless functions that we can no longer dispense with in our globalised and industrialised world.
- cannot be completely replaced with alternative materials – at least not when all functional, economic and ecological advantages remain unchanged.
However, this does not mean that the way in which we handle plastics today is always practical and correct. For even if in many application cases it is not possible to dispense with plastic: There are plenty of possibilities to employ it more efficiently, to use it more sustainably and to produce and process it in a more resource-conserving manner.
Save packaging material with Krones
Companies from the beverage and food industry find a whole range of solutions at Krones for both reducing their material consumption for packages and for generally designing the life cycle of plastic products to be more sustainable. These include (among others):
- Lightweighting: customer-specific bottle designs and secondary packages – including the ideal preform design
- Flip Lid: an innovative container-closure combination that
- stays together throughout a bottle’s entire lifetime.
- has been developed together with the closure experts at Aptar.
- Dynastretch: packaging machine for extra-thin film with a thickness of just 10 µm
- LitePac: pack strapping that uses up to 60 percent less material than comparable secondary packages made of film
- MetaPure: systems that
- recycle PET and polyolefins to flakes or pellets.
- produce various material qualities – up to food-grade PET according to the FDA
Just one of many examples: Our customer Niagara Bottling has – including with the help of Krones – reduced the weight of its packages by 60 percent in the last 15 years.
Conclusion: Can plastic packaging be sustainable?
Yes, it can – if it is produced in a resource-saving manner and is kept in a closed circuit. Both is possible with the technology and services of Krones. From a material-saving packaging design to low-energy container production and the recycling of used plastic materials: We give PET bottles and other packages the opportunity for a sustainable, environmentally friendly life – and that not only once, but again and again.
Compared to the same quantity of new product, during its production 1 kg of recycled PET (rPET) saves:
- 9 kg of crude oil (= 100 percent)
- 5 kg of CO2 emissions (= 69.5 percent)
Reducing the amount of waste is an absolutely necessary measure to protect our environment. But this alone is not enough. Reducing the negative effects on our climate is at least as important. And when it comes to the CO2 balance, plastics often perform better than other packaging materials. You can read why in the next article.