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October 24, 2022 - Flexible Packaging Rigid Packaging

Two Misconceptions with Manufacturing Sustainable Packaging

Converters know brand owners and consumers are looking for more sustainable packaging solutions for food and consumer good applications, but they often feel that implementing sustainable materials into current manufacturing processes is easier said than done. For example, converters may believe that doing so increases their production costs and complexities. However, this is not the case. Find out more about these misconceptions and how the right adhesives help converters easily incorporate sustainable packaging materials into their production lines. 

Misconception #1: It’s expensive to manufacture sustainable packaging.  

While sustainable packaging is in demand, the cost per quantity can be higher upfront when purchasing sustainable materials than non-sustainable materials. Costs can become more expensive if raw materials need to be bio-based, or if there’s preference for paper over plastic, for example. This alone deters many converters from considering it further, especially since they look for materials that they know are most cost effective for them. Additionally, converters often think that incorporating sustainable materials into production lines requires them to purchase new equipment for utilizing sustainable materials. This, too, can cause them to prefer non-sustainable options, because they do not want to invest in new equipment, especially if they are not having issues with the current machinery in their facility. 

Truth: 

While it’s true that converters may see higher upfront costs with sustainable packaging materials, the right adhesives enable manufacturers to reduce overall manufacturing expenses with sustainable packaging materials in the following ways: 

  • Decreased material volume: The right adhesives reduce the overall material volume needed per package. This is because they are formulated to bond with substrates that allow the manufacturer to use less overall packaging material, such as plastic. Because less material is needed to manufacture the packaging, it reduces waste production costs, since there is less material to cleanup. Additionally, it allows converters to transport more products in fewer trips, reducing shipping costs. 
  • Reduced plastic usage: The right adhesive can minimize plastic and overall material usage in a product, reducing overall material expenses. For example, converters can use a resealable adhesive and decrease plastic packaging material and associated costs by 30 percent when incorporated with APET mono-material resealable films for lidding trays. Additionally, these films can be processed on conventional, multi-layer cast and blown film lines and are designed to coextrude well next to various polymers. This allows the converter to use the same adhesive solution across multiple film structures with different functional or sealant layers without slowing down production and increasing downtime costs. 

Additionally, with the right adhesives, converters can incorporate sustainable materials without needing to purchase new equipment, contrary to many beliefs. This is because they are formulated for: 

  • Common melt-on-demand systems  
  • Conventional, multi-layer cast and blown film lines  

In fact, the right adhesives also enable converters to reduce equipment inventory altogether for certain applications where heat is not needed to form a cure.  

Misconception #2: Incorporating sustainable packaging materials makes manufacturing processes more complicated. 

From finding the right materials to implementing them on production lines, converters often feel there are a significant amount of considerations to make before incorporating sustainable packaging materials. This is because those materials are newer to the market than the well-known, traditional materials, and they don’t already know how these materials will impact production lines. Specifically, they feel that sustainable packaging materials can increase complexities and make it difficult to meet output needs. 

Truth: 

Incorporating sustainable packaging materials decreases complexities when used with the right adhesives. For example, converters can: 

  • Reduce SKU volume: The right adhesives are compatible with multiple substrates such as film, paper or sustainable board stocks, offering broad performance capabilities that enable them to be used across multiple production lines. Additionally, unlike with other adhesives, there is no need to switch out the adhesive in between product manufacturing processes. 

How Bostik Makes It Easy to Incorporate Sustainable Adhesives into Your Packaging

Bostik’s large portfolio of sustainable adhesive solutions is designed specifically for sustainable packaging substrates and help converters incorporate them while reducing costs and complexities. For example: 

Kizen® FREEZE allows converters to run efficient processes by offering high adhesion to sustainable, freezer grade board stocks for case and carton applications and utilize suitable coatings and inks comprised of water-based, biopolymers or mono materials. This technology is designed to easily wet out and penetrate a sustainable board stock with shorter fibers to form a strong bond. Kizen FREEZE helps reduce manufacturing costs and complexities by: 

  • Simplifying operations: Converters can rely on one adhesive technology for numerous design options on the same production lines. This allows for reduced cleanup and SKU volume as well, helping reduce production costs for multiple products. 
  • Offering easy processability: As a water-white technology-based adhesive, Kizen FREEZE is formulated with good thermal stability that leads to less stringing issues or nozzle clogging on melt-on-demand systems to decrease downtime costs and complexities. 
  • Reducing product failures: Its application temperature range of 300° to 350°F (149° to 176° C) helps reduce pop-opens, which allows converters to spend less time managing performance issues and more time focusing on ways to produce sustainable packaging.  

Water-based cold seal adhesives work well on both film and paper substrates for confectionary or baked goods packaging. This enables converters to switch between film or paper substrates on the same production line without adding SKUs, helping them continue processes efficiently without cleanup time in between production. Additionally, cold seal adhesives reduce energy usage, because they don’t require heating equipment to form a cure. Water-based cold seal adhesives can help converters save on overall production and facility costs by utilizing the same production lines and using less plant energy. 

M-Resins, based on extrudable, pressure-sensitive adhesive (PSA) technology, allow converters to easily enhance recyclability by utilizing resealable films for lidding trays. M-Resins can be heat sealed to a rigid or semi-rigid tray. The M-Resin layer is revealed after the first time it is peeled, and able to provide resealability so the consumer does not have to use additional plastic to protect the food freshness. M-Resin reseal technology is often used to protect sliced meats, cheese and baked goods. As mentioned above, reseal adhesives can allow a converter to use 30 percent less plastic and utilize current multi-layer cast and blown film lines, which helps reduce their overall plastic material expenses while also allowing for a seamless switch in production methods.  

Compostable hot melt adhesives are 100% BPI-certified for ecommerce, compostable produce, bakery bags, food delivery and carryout packaging, enabling converters to design truly compostable packaging. Compostable adhesives can also decrease shipping expenses since the natural materials are lighter than non-sustainable materials.  

Solventless laminating adhesives for food and medical packaging can run at high production speeds by offering low application temperatures and fast curing to metalized or white printed films. Offering excellent wetting, flow and enhanced aesthetics, solventless laminating adhesives yield increased overall safety for food and medical products, as well as production workers. These adhesives are designed for high-speed laminators and are used to bond to a variety of film to sealant layers, including those with high slip levels. This allows converters to use one adhesive for numerous substrates while keeping production costs down by utilizing laminators they know how to run efficiently.  

Are you ready to improve the environmental footprint of your packaging and overall processes without increasing costs or complexities? Contact a Bostik representative to learn which adhesive solutions can easily help you reach sustainable goals.   

Learn more about our sustainable solutions:  

Overcome Freezer Grade Packaging Bonding Challenges 

On-Demand Webinar: Learn About Cold Seal Adhesives 

Video: Why You Should Know About M-Resins for Resealable Packaging Applications 

3 Reasons to Manufacture Compostable Packaging 

Function, Applications for Flexible Packaging Laminates and Laminating Adhesives 

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