The term ‘sustainable production’ has lost much of its meaning due to frequent use and abuse. For this reason, we make it as clear as possible how sustainability plays a role within our production process. In addition, together with our buyers we look what role the products play in the chain and how we can further shape sustainability in the future, by continuously looking at the five directions of improvement: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Redesign and Renew.
REDUCE. Our industry is able to make packaging even lighter and more efficient. We will therefore keep on trying to carry forward this development through continuous innovation, accelerating it wherever possible. Innovative research in recent years has led to increasingly efficient blends of raw materials that make downgauging possible. This means that with unchanged strength and other required properties we are able to produce an increasingly thin film. This saving on raw materials enables a less intensive, more sustainable extraction process.
REUSE. In various places reusable packaging, return packaging and systems are produced. Besides, our specialists will support the packaging industry in an expert way in the further development of new reusable packaging.
RECYCLE. In the collecting of used products actions are initiated and continued to make the response as high as possible. Only the materials for which there is a market must be sorted out. We focus on actions to maximise the share of plastics of the same quality and the mono flows and keeps the share of low-quality so-called mix-fraction as low as possible. Our setting and switching waste mostly goes to a specialised recycling firm that breaks down the plastic into plastic granulate, suited for reuse. For polyethylene (PE) that cannot be recycled, burning is an acceptable alternative. Polyethylene is a raw oil product with a high caloric value which makes it a popular fuel for waste incinerators. In the Netherlands 50% of all marketed plastic packaging is currently recycled. A correct recycling technique can ensure lower environmental pressure than material on a fossil basis.
REDESIGN. Stimulating new designs that enable the reuse of packaging, require less use of materials and increase the possibility of recycling. Together with its chain partners, AVI looks if sustainable (packaging) concepts can be developed.
RENEW. In the field of replacement of fossil raw materials with bio-based raw materials, appealing projects have been realised. AVI too introduced a number of sustainable, renewable products. Apart from polyethylene, AVI makes it possible to opt for Bioplastics. Another choice option at AVI concerns oxo-degradable plastics, in which an element is added to the raw materials recipe which makes the product break down itself after a while. We note that both ‘green alternatives’ are still in development and opinions on the positive effects on the environment differ. In the past period a broad debate has developed on the question if and how the use of biologically degradable (or compostable) plastic packaging offers opportunities in the circular economy for producers and importers who market packaged products. The Kennisinstituut Duurzaam Verpakken (KIDV, Knowledge Institute Sustainable Packaging) receives questions about this from companies. To be able to answer these questions, the KIDV has made a fact sheet on biologically degradable plastic packaging which can be downloaded here. AVI closely follows the developments in this field.