Food manufacturers

Process and control today | A ‘paradigm shift’ is needed for food manufacturers to respond to the sustainable packaging boom

According to an industry expert, food manufacturers will need a “paradigm shift” in their thinking about packaging machinery if they are to meet the projected boom in demand for sustainable packaging demonstrated in a recent industry report.

According to Business Research Company, the compound annual growth rate of the global eco-friendly food packaging market size is expected to grow from USD 196.26 billion in 2021 to USD 211.56 billion in 2022 at Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR ) by 7.8%. This marked growth underscores the need for packaging machines that can handle sustainable materials, says Ed Williams, Sales Manager at ULMA Packaging UK.

“It’s great that we’re seeing the continued growth of eco-friendly packaging, as sustainability continues to emerge as a necessity, not a consideration, across the board,” says Ed. “However, we need to recognize the challenge of ensuring that food manufacturers’ packaging machines are able to handle these new materials, which will grow in popularity as this boom continues. As such, a paradigm shift is needed across the industry and vendors must seek to develop solutions and innovations to facilitate this continued transition to a greener future.

One such issue is the machinability of mono-material films such as mono-PP or mono-PE laminates, which, although easier to recycle, have a narrower optimum sealing range than conventional multi-layer materials. . To solve this problem, ULMA has developed the BETTER-SEAL™ system to guarantee stable and precise temperatures in the sealing elements of a machine. By doing so, food processors are better able to use mono-material films which, unlike their multi-layered counterparts, can provide a protective barrier without needing to be separated during the recycling process.

“The need for environmentally friendly packaging is growing rapidly, leading to a variety of technological developments and advances in sustainable methods,” Ed concludes. “Packaging machinery suppliers therefore need to ensure that they are able to support manufacturers as they respond to consumer demand for more sustainable products and packaging.

“BETTER-SEAL™ is a great example of this approach in action and is just one of many measures ULMA is taking as part of our #ULMAweCare sustainability initiative. Only by constantly looking to the future and innovating can we meet the levels of demand highlighted in this latest industry report. »

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