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ZERO WASTE – intelligent material management is the path to our objective

At the Plastic Waste Free World Conference & Expo in Cologne, the film manu-facturer SÜDPACK is presenting business models at Stand 2012 for the closure of recycling loops and for keeping plastics in the loop at the end of their lifecy-cle. The film manufacturer, which was voted one of the top 50 most sustainable SMEs in Germany by WirtschaftsWoche, and was also nominated for the Ba-den-Württemberg Environmental Award, is pursuing a central objective with its roadmap for sustainable film solutions and, above all, with its high-profile initia-tives for mechanical and chemical recycling: ZERO WASTE.

Sustainability has always been firmly anchored in SÜDPACK’s DNA. One elementary building block of the ambitious sustainability strategy is the development of material-efficient and recyclable material structures, as plastic packaging cannot, even in future, be substituted by alternative solutions for a large number of applications. In recent years in particular, the innovation and technology leader has therefore consistently expanded its product portfolio in this area. Best examples of this are the Pure-Line range with its PP and PE-based high-performance films for packaging a wide variety of foodstuff, or the PP-based film solution for the production of pharmaceutical blister packs.

To calculate the ecological impact for the products offered to date or also new products, SÜDPACK is currently developing a calculation tool to create holistic life cycle assessments that take into account different end-of-life options within defined system limits. Customers thus have the opportunity to compare different packaging solutions under sustainability aspects.

 

Mechanical recycling – returning valuable resources to the cycle

The company group also invests heavily in the circular economy: in the context of recyclable material processing and recovery, the film manufacturer pursues two targeted solution approaches: the internal material management aims to reuse recyclable materials which are produced during the film manufacturing process, and thus to close recyclable material cycles. “With our Competence Center at the Schwendi site, we have created strong capacities for the recyclability of these production-related recyclables. Thanks to our effective, ISCC Plus-certified material management, we also reduce the amount of waste for external disposal,” emphasizes Carolin Grimbacher, Managing Partner of SÜDPACK.

Chemical recycling as a complementary technology

By investing in the pioneering, market-ready CARBOLIQ technology, a future-proof chemical recycling process, SÜDPACK together with its technology partners is forging links to cater for the expectation of being able to convert existing recyclable materials and packaging which could not be mechanically recycled until now into valuable resources on an industrial scale. CARBOLIQ’s pilot plant in Ennigerloh is the only plant in Germany so far to run in fully continuous operation and has been certified according to the sustainability criteria of ISCC-Plus since March 2021. Even mixed and contaminated plastic fractions can be processed into a “cracker-ready” liquid resource, from which plastics are in turn produced. Christian Haupts, Managing Director of CARBOLIQ GmbH, explains: “On average, only about ten percent of the energy contained in the liquid product is needed for the conversion. And compared to the thermal recycling of plastics, the CARBOLIQ process emits a total of 46 percent less CO2.”

“With our commitment to CARBOLIQ, as well as with our own material management, we are currently one of the pioneers and significant advocates for a functioning circular economy in the market. As one of the leading film manufacturers, it must also be our goal to significantly reduce the use of primary raw materials and to keep all materials that we bring in the cycle,” says Carolin Grimbacher.

NET ZERO – the superordinate objective

Both these initiatives demonstrate SÜDPACK’s ZERO Waste claim. However, ZERO waste is only one aspect of its sustainability roadmap. The central goal is NET ZERO. By 2025, the globally active company group aims to reduce 95 percent of direct greenhouse gas emissions and those caused by energy demand, as well as 15 percent of indirect greenhouse gas emissions along the value added chain. Other measures to improve the CO2 balance involve the increased use of renewable energy and additional investments in photovoltaic systems. To ensure that all its climate protection efforts are actually in keeping with the highest standards of the Paris Climate Agreement, SÜDPACK joined the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) in 2022.

Sustainability Report

SÜDPACK documents all initiatives and advancements in ecological, economic and also social terms in a comprehensive, fact-based Sustainability Report, which is published every two years on a voluntary basis. The current report for 2020 and 2021 is currently available on the homepage at Sustainability Report 2022 (suedpack.com) and is also available in bound form at Plastic Waste Free World in Cologne.