We will talk about...

  1. Post-industrial recycled plastic: What is it?
  2. Post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR): What is it?
  3. Homologation of post-industrial and post-consumer recycled plastic for use in new packaging

Post-industrial recycled plastic: What is it?

The term post-industrial recycled plastic refers to plastic materials discarded in industrial processes that do not reach the market for final consumer sale. This includes production waste, cut-offs, or scraps from manufacturers using plastic in their production processes.

Post-industrial plastic is typically of fairly good quality and can be recycled and reused for the same production process or for the creation of new plastic products. By recycling this type of plastic and reintegrating it into the same transformation process, it prevents it from ending up in landfills and contributes to a more sustainable use of resources.

Examples of post-industrial plastic may include manufacturing waste from packaging such as bottles and jerrycans, pipe waste, electronic components, among others. These waste materials are collected, sorted, and processed by a waste manager to give them a new purpose, avoiding the use of virgin plastic and reducing environmental impact.

Post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR): What is it?

Post-consumer recycled plastic, or PCR, refers to plastic that has been collected, sorted, and processed to be reused after its life as a consumer product. This means the plastic has been used by consumers and then recycled for subsequent use in manufacturing new products. Using post-consumer recycled plastic to manufacture new products helps reduce the amount of plastic waste in landfills and conserves the natural resources used in virgin plastic production.

Keep reading: Challenges in Plastic packaging and the environment

Advantages of using post-consumer recycled plastic for plastic packaging

  1. Reduction of plastic waste: Using post-consumer recycled plastic allows giving new life to plastic waste, preventing it from accumulating in landfills or polluting the environment.
  2. Saving natural resources: Using recycled plastic reduces the need to extract and process virgin raw materials, leading to energy and water savings.
  3. Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: The manufacturing process of post-consumer plastic appears to generate fewer CO2 emissions compared to virgin plastic production.
  4. Increased environmental awareness: Using recycled plastic packaging can help promote environmental awareness among consumers and encourage a circular economy.

Disadvantages of using post-consumer plastic for plastic packaging

  1. Reduced quality and durability: In some cases, recycled plastic may have lower quality and durability than virgin plastic, affecting the lifespan of the packaging.
  2. Residual contamination: Post-consumer recycled plastic, obtained through mechanical recycling, may contain traces of contaminants acquired during its original use, affecting the safety or quality of the final product.
  3. Higher cost: The collection, sorting, and recycling process of post-consumer plastic can be more expensive than virgin plastic production, potentially impacting the final packaging price.
  4. Technical limitations: Some applications of plastic packaging, especially those requiring high transparency or strength, may face technical limitations when using recycled plastic.

Homologation of post-industrial and post-consumer recycled plastic for use in new packaging

Both post-industrial and post-consumer recycled plastic must be homologated for use in the manufacturing of new packaging. Homologating recycled plastic involves subjecting it to tests and analyses to ensure it meets the necessary quality and safety requirements for use in packaging.

This ensures that recycled plastic does not contain hazardous substances and has the proper mechanical properties to fulfill its function as packaging. Homologation is also crucial to guarantee the traceability of recycled materials and promote transparency in the recycling process.

There is no single global standard for homologating recycled plastic. Many countries have regulations and standards related to recycling and waste management, including post-consumer plastic. These standards may vary depending on the country and its environmental legislation.

The European standard specifying the necessary procedures for the traceability of recycled plastics is UNE-EN 15343. This standard provides the basis for calculating the recycled content of a product: "Recycled plastics. Traceability and assessment of conformity for recycled plastics and recycled content." It establishes requirements and test methods for recycled plastics from municipal solid waste and mechanical recycling of plastic packaging, enabling them to be used in the manufacturing of non-food products.

UNE-EN 15343 is a European standard that sets requirements and test methods for recycled plastics intended for use in manufactured products. Its goal is to ensure that recycled plastics have suitable properties for use in products, complying with quality and safety standards.

Keep learning: Sustainable plastic storage of chemicals: An approach to the circular economy and safety

The standard establishes criteria for classifying recycled plastics into different categories based on their origin, recycling processes, and technical characteristics. It also sets minimum quality requirements for these recycled plastics, including physical, mechanical, and thermal properties.

Additionally, it defines the testing methods that should be used to determine the properties of recycled plastics, including tests for strength, hardness, density, thermal stability, among others.

UNE-EN 15343 standard: Why is it important?

Its importance lies in standardizing the requirements and test methods for recycled plastic used in plastic products. It is crucial for promoting the use of recycled plastic as an alternative that supports sustainability, reduces the environmental impact of plastic waste, and fosters a circular economy.

The UNE-EN 15343 standard establishes quality and safety criteria to ensure that recycled plastic meets the technical and health requirements necessary for its use in plastic products. This is essential to ensure that products made with recycled plastic are safe for users and comply with established technical specifications.

In conclusion, the homologation of recycled plastic, whether post-industrial or post-consumer, plays a fundamental role in the transition to a circular and sustainable economy. The UNE-EN 15343 standard serves as an essential pillar by setting rigorous criteria for the quality and safety of recycled plastics used in the manufacturing of new products.

This standard not only contributes to reducing the environmental impact of plastic waste but also promotes environmental awareness and encourages the adoption of more responsible practices in plastic material management. Adhering to these standards promotes the creation of more sustainable packaging, mitigating the negative effects of plastic on the environment and moving towards a greener future.

Do you need help choosing the right plastic packaging for your product? Contact us!

“Paneling” in a plastic container is the phenomenon in which the walls of the container deform or collapse, generating visible ripples or wrinkles. Paneling is the deformation of the sides of the plastic container when it is subjected to external/internal pressure. This can happen during the storage, transportation, or handling of the products.

Paneling can have a negative impact on the appearance of the packaging and, in some cases, can affect the integrity of the packaged product and, of course, the image of the manufacturer brand of that packaged product.

We will talk about...

  1. Paneling phenomenon: Why does a plastic container with chemical formulations inside collapse?
  2. Paneling in a plastic container: What factors cause the paneling of a package and how to avoid it?
  3. Compatibility testing packaging vs Packaged product

 

Paneling phenomenon: Why does a plastic container with chemical formulations inside collapse?

There are several reasons why a plastic container with chemical formulations inside could collapse.

  1. Internal pressure: Some chemical formulations release gases or generate pressure variations within the container itself due to chemical reactions, but the internal pressure can also be altered by external factors such as temperature, atmospheric pressure, or improper handling of the container. If the container is not strong enough to withstand this pressure, it can collapse.
  2. Chemical reaction with the plastic material of the container: Certain chemical formulations can react with the plastic material of the container, weakening its structure and causing it to collapse.
  3. Temperature: Certain chemical formulations may be sensitive to temperature changes. If the container cannot withstand high or low temperatures, it may collapse when exposed to them.
  4. Wear or damage to the container: If the container has cracks, deformations or damage to its structure, it could collapse when a variation in internal pressure is generated due to the reactions of the chemical formulation.

 

Keep reading: How to ensure the preservation of the agrochemical

 

Paneling in a plastic container: What factors cause the paneling of a package and how to avoid it?

Some of the factors that can cause paneling are the following:

  1. Pressure of the contents: If the container is filled with a product with high internal pressure, or that can generate gas inside, the force of the contents can deform the walls of the container.
  2. Packaging design: The design and construction of the packaging can be an important factor. If the material used is weak or does not have adequate structural strength, paneling is more likely to occur.
  3. Improper handling: If the container is subjected to shocks, excessive stacking or irregular pressure during storage or transport, it can lead to deformation of the walls of the container.

However, to avoid paneling a container, we recommend selecting the right plastic container. Use packaging with the optimal structural composition (monolayer or with co-extruded barrier layer or plasma fluorination) and weight, of quality and resistance, which is capable of withstanding the external forces to which it will be subjected during its shelf life, as well as internal pressures due to possible alterations and internal reactions of the packaged formulation.

In addition, correct handling must be carried out, ensuring that the containers are handled correctly, avoiding bumps, excessive stacking or irregular pressures, and using appropriate packaging or palletizing systems to protect the containers during transport and storage.

On our side, from the point of view of the construction and design of our plastic packaging, APS takes into account:

  1. Structural reinforcement: We design the container with structural reinforcements, such as internal ribs, reinforcements at corners or at points of greatest stress, to increase its resistance and prevent deformation.
  2. Resistance tests and analyses: We carry out resistance tests and analyses to determine the capabilities of the packaging against different external forces by adjusting its design accordingly.

By following these measures, the likelihood of paneling on packaging can be minimized, ensuring product integrity and consumer satisfaction.

In short, a plastic container containing chemical formulations can collapse due to the internal pressure generated, the chemical reaction with the plastic, changes in temperature or external pressure, or damage to the structure of the container. It is important to use suitable and resistant packaging to store and transport these types of chemical formulations, which generally require approval according to ADR (European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) and marked with their respective identification number.

 

Compatibility testing packaging vs Packaged product

How to perform product packaging compatibility tests for packaging chemicals

Carrying out packaging-product compatibility tests for packaging chemicals is important in order to ensure that the packaging and the chemical are compatible and that there are no negative interactions that could compromise the quality of the packaged product or the safety of the user.

From APS we recommend our customers to carry out the following steps to check the compatibility of the product with the packaging seen as a set (container + cap):

  1. Select containers by choosing different types of packaging that are commonly used to store these products, such as HDPE bottles of various weights and plastic containers with barrier layers, either co-extruded or with a plasma-generated chemical barrier. The sensitivity of some plastic materials to certain components of the formulation must be taken into account, as, for example, PA (Polyamide) is sensitive to water.
  2. Also select the most suitable type of cap, since, if it is presumed that the formulation to be packaged can react inside the container and generate gases, these must be recirculated or even be able to be evacuated to the outside by means of the most appropriate closure system.

APS has a specific department that is responsible for supplying small series of its containers and/or caps duly identified so that our customers can carry out the relevant tests.

  1. Our client, on the other hand, must prepare the samples of the formulation, filling and storage in the supplied containers, controlling the parameters of their product, making periodic observations at predefined intervals to evaluate possible changes in the packaging or in the stored product. Some of the aspects to look out for include leaks, warping, changes in color or texture, and any other signs of spoilage of the packaging. At the same time, keep a record of the results of the observations made, including any changes or deterioration observed in the packaging or in the stored product.
  2. Analysis and interpretation: Analyze the results recorded together with the PHC team in order to make a correct interpretation of them. If changes or deterioration are observed in the packaging or the product, there may be some kind of incompatibility between the two. In such a case, further research should be done and consideration should be given to changing parameters of the type of cap type used.

It is important to note that these packaging-product compatibility tests are only one part of the evaluation of the safety and quality of the packaging for the storage of chemicals. Other aspects, such as local regulations and labeling requirements, must also be taken into account to ensure the proper storage and handling of these chemicals. For this reason, we always recommend consulting the regulations and recommendations of the country where the product is going to be marketed beforehand.

Complete catalogue

 

How to know that a plastic container complies with ADR and legislation for the transport of dangerous goods

In general, the transport and handling of these chemicals normally requires compliance with the ADR (European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road). To determine if a plastic container complies with ADR and the legislation for the transport of dangerous goods, at APS we verify that it complies with characteristics such as:

  1. Resistance conditions: The container must be able to withstand the conditions of transport and handling without suffering damage that could compromise its integrity and the safety of the cargo.
  2. Airtightness: The container must be able to safely and watertightly contain the hazardous substance during transport, preventing leaks or spills.

In addition, we provide our customers with information on the materials used in their manufacture and their resistance to hazardous substances, as well as the temperature and pressure limits to which they may be subjected.

 

Keep reading: Product Counterfeiting – APS Solutions

 

Based on all the tests and parameters tested, the packaging will be certified according to ADR (UN mark) by an authorized body to ensure that it complies with the safety standards established by current legislation.

In case of doubt, it is advisable to consult the specific regulations of each country and, in the case of international transport, the ADR, for precise and up-to-date information on the requirements that plastic packaging must meet for the transport of dangerous goods.

 

What information is contained on the license plate of an ADR-certified plastic container?

The registration number of a plastic container certified according to ADR (European Agreement on the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road) contains the following information:

UN

An UN symbol followed by a nomenclature that indicates:

  1. Type of packaging (jerrycan, jerrycan...)
  2. Material (plastic...)
  3. Category 1 or 2 depending on your fixed or movable lid
  4. Packaging group (I,II,III depending on the hazard of the packaged product)
  5. Density
  6. Hydraulic Pressure Test
  7. Year of manufacture
  8. Country of Manufacture
  9. Approval number: This is a unique code assigned to the certified packaging, indicating that it meets the requirements and is authorized for the transport of dangerous goods.
  10. Manufacturer's Identification

Marking example:

UN 3H1/Y1.4/140/23/E/J-10033/APS

This marking means the following, as explained:

UN

 

Do you need more information? Contact us!

For the past three years, we have been holding our annual event, which we share with our customers. This year we presented our Circular Economy Project at the III APS’ Open Days 2023.

We invite you to find out how it was!

We will talk about...

  1. APS’ Circular Economy Project: What is it about?
  2. Plasma Fluorinated Barrier Packaging: Key in the APS Circular Economy Project
  3. Plastic Packaging for Chemicals: Applications and Benefits
  4. Standards and regulations that are the basis of the APS Circular Economy Project

 

APS’ Circular Economy Project: What is it about?

During the III APS 2023 Open Days held in October, different presentations were made by leading professionals that support a Circular Economy Project in the world of plastic packaging.

This year, under the slogan INNOVATING TO BE SUSTAINABLE, we showed our APS’ Circular Economy Project that combines the areas of Innovation and Sustainability for the design and manufacture of our sustainable plastic packaging for the chemical products, often classified as "hazardous".

innovation and sustainability

Generally speaking, the concept of circular economy refers to the combination of Economy and Environment in order to optimise the use of resources and minimise the generation of waste. Unlike the traditional linear economic model based on extraction, manufacture, use and disposal, this new way of conceiving the economy is based on promoting the reuse, repair, recycling and renewal of products and materials.

In this way, it seeks to transform the way goods and services are produced and consumed, promoting a sustainable and environmentally conscious approach, reducing pressure on ecosystems, and mitigating negative impacts. But it can also generate economic opportunities and promote innovation in product and process design.

 

Solution Design

Many companies wonder how to apply the foundations of the circular economy to the manufacture of plastic packaging, a product that, at first glance, may seem insignificant and far from being complex.

As María Coronado, Head of Communication and Marketing at Alcion Packaging Solutions, explained in her presentation of the Open Days, from our point of view it implies a holistic approach that covers from design to the end of its life cycle.

For his part, José Antonio Lapuente, Head of Product Development at APS, showed the different tools that allow us to improve the design of packaging, shortening deadlines and saving resources.  Some of them are:

From the outset, the design must promote the circularity of plastic packaging, turning it into a practical, qualitative, aesthetic element that helps logistics and always complies with current legislation.

 

 

You might also like: Sustainable plastic storage of chemicals: An approach to the circular economy and safety

 

 

In addition, it must be able to propose a reduction in the carbon footprint and be aligned with environmental circularity, that is: reducing weight but achieving more robustness, increasing the possibilities of recyclability, reducing manufacturing costs, etc. But, above all, it must allow the correct industrialization, that is, to be able to make it a reality, and provide more and more improvements in its characteristics and mechanical properties as well as in its behavior against the product it will contain.

 

Innovation and sustainability in APS

José Fernández, CEO of Alcion Packaging Solutions, made it very clear in his presentation that innovation and sustainability in APS are central to sustaining an efficient and possible circular economy project.

At Alcion Packaging Solution, we work hard to ensure sustainable and innovative packaging that is safely adapted to the products it contains. Safety is the basis on which all new developments revolve, and we do so by complying with new regulations, certifications and closely following national and international legislation.

 

Plasma Fluorinated Barrier Packaging: Key in the APS Circular Economy Project

The transformation of plastic, thanks to technology and processes that are more respectful of the environment, has continued to evolve, allowing the simplification of packaging and offering new alternatives.

This was explained to us by Steve Steenhoudt, Sales Engineer at Delta Engineering, emphasizing that plasma fluorination today makes it possible to provide barrier properties to a single-material plastic container (HDPE). In this way, the packaging can be used to pack chemicals in a safe and controlled way.

The barrier generated in plastic packaging by this technology gives greater resistance to the packaging when it is in contact with hazardous or corrosive products, adapting to changes in temperature and environmental pressure and preventing the permeation of water vapor and oxygen. In addition, it makes the packaging remain 100% recyclable to protect the environment.

 

Advantages of barrier packaging

Barrier containers, made either by coextrusion, with several layers of different plastic materials, or by plasma fluorination, provide the necessary resistance for the packaging of aggressive products that could otherwise deteriorate and deform the packaging.

The big advantages are the ability to preserve and transport chemicals in the safest way. They ensure excellent protection that would be unfeasible with other containers that do not have such barrier layer.

 

Plastic Packaging for Chemicals: Applications and Benefits

During his presentation, Harald Kröger, Independent Consultant at CKS Plastics Consulting, explained that the use of plastic materials is mainly linked to chemical products of all kinds as they need a robust, lightweight packaging, with an optimal market price, recyclable and resistant.

The benefits of using plastic materials in this field are manifold:

 

Complete catalogue

 

Project “Envase x Envase”: Waste Prevention and Minimization

José Guaita, President of Heura Gestión Ambiental, gave the keys of the Project “Envase x Envase”. A project for the recovery and recycling of rigid plastic packaging used in the professional agricultural sector that seeks to minimise waste.

The objective of the project is to achieve the first management system that shows that the collected packaging is recycled, so that the material obtained from these collected bottles and jerrycans is used again to make new containers that are intended to pack again fertilizer products, agronutrients, etc.

It is a project to recover rigid plastic containers so that they can have a second life thanks to their efficient recycling, returning to the system of use to form a sustainability chain.

 

Standards and regulations that are the basis of the APS Circular Economy Project

The APS Circular Economy Project is based on the requirements of current standards and regulations that guarantee efficient products and environmental care. In addition to continuing to update our UN certifications as we incorporate new technologies and/or processes into our production system.

Our goal is Sustainability based on Innovation, without, of course, leaving aside our competitiveness, as Roberto Bello, Commercial and Marketing Director at Alcion Packaging Solutions, explained. To this end, we work on the incorporation of recycled, post-industrial and post-consumer materials into our packaging manufactured with the different technologies that we have in our plant, attentive to the results and always taking care that the behavior is optimal to be able to contain the chemical products manufactured by our customers.

Through the gradual modernization of our production plant, we apply increasingly sustainable processes, using plastic materials whose results we test until we achieve the expected optimum, as it is important to bear in mind that each context and each type of packaging may require specific approaches.

All the attendants to our III Open Days could see these contributions at our facilities, where our engineers answered all the questions and doubts raised by our customers in a day that served to strengthen ties and show our degree of commitment to the sector and the environment.

Thank you to all those who attended our Open Days and to those who didn't, we look forward to seeing you in a new edition.

We take care of your products while we work taking care of the environment. Contact us!

How is the relationship between plastics and the environment?

We will herewith approach the major challenges the plastic industries face and what are the sustainable alternatives to reduce the environmental impact, while maintaining, at the same time, the productivity of the sector.

In this article we are going to talk about:

Challenges in the plastics industry vs environment

The changes generated globally over the last decades are more than obvious. We have not only experienced them in the technological and digital field, but also in terms of social and environmental awareness.

Companies are increasingly under pressure to assess the environmental impact of their business actions and strategies; and at this point, plastic packaging has become the focus of a problem that claims for actions to be taken.

The plastics industry is going through a series of adversities and new challenges that force it to generate an answer by means of strategies to give viability to each business.

What are these challenges in the plastics industry today?

  1. Abrupt fluctuations in the costs of plastic resins as a result of shortages, technical stops of suppliers, the high price of transport and the increase of energy costs.
  2. Problems in the logistics chain that cause supply shortages and delays in the supply of raw materials.
  3. The continuous increase in inflation at the global level, causes increases in prices and reduces the purchasing power of consumers, affecting sales in all sectors, especially consumer products.
  4. The restrictions and new regulations on plastics, whose government and tax laws such as in Spain the “Law of waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy", directly affect the entire production chain.

The bad reputation of plastic and the continuous attack and its demonized link with the environment tends to generate misinformation and rejection by society.

cta alcion envases barrera

Environmental impact of plastic

While it is true that plastic materials and the environment maintain a complex relationship, as society acquires a "sustainable" awareness and seeks to protect the environment, it has become clear that there is a profound ignorance of their enormous advantages.

Plastic containers are lightweight and highly efficient, and they adapt to any type of product. It is no coincidence that it is one of the most required and used materials in the packaging industry, but its impact on the environment is visible, while other materials with a larger carbon footprint cause an impact that may not be so evident to the eyes of the consumer. Considering the reduction of the use of plastics is important but we must also take into account the carbon footprint of the alternatives that may be proposed for their replacement.

It is important to open the debate on the environmental impact of plastic and assess how beneficial its total eradication might be. Many experts agree that this could become even more harmful because, probably, the pollution that would be generated could become even greater.

 

-It might interest you: Know the keys and advances of sustainable plastic packaging-

 

To value the sustainability of production and the consumption of resources in an objective and scientific manner is essential. Numerous analyses of the life cycle of products have concluded that many materials used as alternatives to plastic in terms of packaging (paper, glass, metal...), have a significantly higher water use or CO2 impact compared to the use of plastic packaging.

If the plastic in packaging were to be replaced as far as possible by another material, let’s say, for instance, paper, more material would be required to pack the same amount of products and the energy expenditure of their production and recycling would be doubled.

The problem we face goes beyond the material we use, whether it is plastic or paper, glass or metal. The problem lies in our performance and attitude, the use we make of those materials, and how comfortable our society has become: our weekly shop is done from home, and if we move to the supermarket, we pretend that everything is packaged to finish quickly. We hardly cook, we order it "home delivery" or “take away” or buy precooked directly. All these consumption habits (just a small example) lead to overpackaging and excess of resources used.

However, the plastics processing industry is obliged to reinvent itself, and it is doing so, but it is also imperative to raise awareness about the best use that should be given to plastics: to raise awareness in society and adopt more sustainable solutions.

Sustainable plastic packaging? Yes, it is possible

Facing so many challenges and debates around plastics and the environment, it is time to analyze new alternatives, given that consumers, companies and governments have demanded it.

The plastics processing industry has moved forward and has managed, to a large extent, to reinvent itself. Technological innovations to provide highest quality, safety and, at the same time, sustainability to packaging and materials.

The industry has managed to face the challenge posed by society and using creativity and large investments has brought together most of their demands. Materials obtained from organic compounds that can be degraded and recycled, new technologies through which products with better recyclability are achieved, different proposals for recycling plastic products and projects for new collection and selection systems for packaging and plastic products...

Getting sustainable plastic  packaging is a reality and is already possible, so the industry is already incorporating it into its products to give way to the demand of a society aware of the circular economy and recycling.

100% sustainable options, which maintain their performance, efficiency and versatility are already being implemented in various sectors: packaging, agriculture, textile industry, medicine, among others.

cta-alcion-customized solution

Barrier packaging: Our commitment to plasma fluorination

At APS we are convinced that companies can act ethically, following current legislation, achieving their own economic development and improving the quality of life in our planet.

That is why we stand out in their support, manufacture with sustainable materials trying to cause the least environmental impact. Based on the latest technological innovations, keeping our essence and our specialty in providing barrier properties to plastic containers made to contain products from industrial sectors.

Thanks to the barrier in a plastic container, chemical products containing certain active formulas, that may generate gases inside the container, can be packed with guarantee.

At APS we became leaders in the manufacture of these barrier containers using multilayer coextrusion, but now, we move forward to be sustainable and our IDI project has led us to incorporate a new technology to our facilities in Valencia,  plasma fluorination. We get a barrier layer in a HDPE monolayer container which is also approved according to ADR (Agreement concerning the International Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road). Therefore, we manage to achieve the manufacture of containers highly resistant to factors likely to modify or alter the composition of the product contained inside.

Plasma fluorination is the use of plasma to accelerate the process of coating the surface of the package by providing barrier properties to packaging that remains 100% recyclable by converting a monolayer HDPE container into a barrier container.

At Alcion Packaging Solutions we manufacture barrier packaging that provides the technical solution necessary to achieve a goal: to offer high quality packaging that guarantees the transport of goods, even those that are dangerous.

In this way, we continue to bet on the care of the environment, choosing plasma fluorination to solve the problems posed by direct fluoridation and work on the promotion of the circular and sustainable economy.

At Alcion Packaging Solutions we are faithful to our commitment to quality, safety and environmental sustainability. Get to know us!

Research, Development and Innovation for the development of plastic packaging

The development of R + D + i as a value commitment in APS is materialized in the implementation of the Plasma fluorination by incorporating this new technology for the manufacture of barrier containers with the aim of improving the recyclability circuit of this type of packaging.

At the same time, we have been carrying out certain industrial tests, some with the aim of incorporating as much post-consumer recycled plastic (PCR) as possible into our plastic packaging and others to reduce its weight, to contribute our efforts towards the construction of a true circular economy.

Aware of the risk and danger of the products that are packaged in the containers we manufacture, the approvals are being thoroughly tested and validated in order to maintain our high-quality standards, which are the basis of our commitment to our customers, society and the environment.

IDI Certificate

All this carried out under the premises of our Committee of RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION and with the implementation of the UNE 166.002 standard to achieve the objectives of

New scenario 2023

2023 opens a new scenario and the implementation of the new Special Tax on non-reusable plastic packaging seems imminent. In the field of fiscal measures to encourage the circular economy and regulated according to Law 7/2022, of April 8, on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy, as of January 1, 2023, this new tax will come into force.

From APS we approach this new scenario with the serenity of working aligned with our objectives and our Business Development Plan, incorporating the challenges that the new year poses to us from the administrative-financial field, R + D + i and product development and Quality-Environment.

Throughout 2023 and once our containers have been approved in accordance with ADR, we will issue our DECLARATION FOR THE RECYCLED PLASTIC CONTENT for those containers to which we incorporate post-consumer recycled plastic, maintaining the course with a view to closing the UNE-EN 15343: 2008 approval that will verify that we can know the origin of the batches of recycled material received used in the manufacture of each container,  thus being able to achieve the traceability required by the system.

It is important to highlight two important celebrations for our planet: World Day for the Protection of Nature and the International Day against Climate Change. The first was established with the aim of raising awareness in the population about the need to take care of the planet and the second to warn about the devastating effects of climate change in the world.

Good intentions that must be supported by actions that implement individual or corporate contributions to achieve both objectives. The development of the present should never jeopardize the future. That is why plastic packaging re-evolves with APS.

THE CONTRIBUTION OF APS TO THE RE-EVOLUTION OF PLASTIC PACKAGING

Aware of our belonging to an essential sector for economic development, we are faithful to our DNA and therefore at APS we have developed our corporate strategy based on the sustainable and environmentally friendly manufacture of our plastic packaging for chemical products, also doing it in a friendly and beneficent way with people and being responsible to society.

Under the premises of eco-design, we develop new products that contain post-consumer recycled plastic, together with the implementation of a new technology (Plasma Fluorination) to produce plastic packaging that provides a good level of development, trying to reduce or eliminate its impact on nature, and at the same time maintaining the protection of the packaged product.

At the same time, to contribute to the minimization of climate impact, we work under the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System that helps us correct all processes to achieve maximum efficiency in this area. In addition, we undergo the evaluation of the sustainability ratings agency EcoVadis, which promotes the transparency of sustainability practices and assesses the performance of aspects of Environment, Labor Practices and Human Rights, Ethics and Sustainable Procurement, awarding us with the silver distinction in sustainability for this year 2022.

EcoVadis silver rating sustainability 2022

Development should not risk the future of nature

Trying to avoid that the development of the present does not risk the future of nature, in APS...

✅ we work on the basis of an environmental management system  according to ISO 14001,

✅ we rely on eco-design to develop our packaging, increasingly sustainable,

✅ we implement new manufacturing technologies, such as Plasma Fluorination,  which allow us to market 100% recyclable barrier packaging for the packaging of chemical products,

✅ we try to incorporate the maximum percentage of PCR (post-consumer plastic) in our packaging favoring the circular economy,

✅ we undergo the assessment of the sustainability ratings agency EcoVadis,

✅ we are aware of what it means to belong to a sector essential for economic development and our investments and efforts are focused on adding value,

APS, building a sustainable future

At the XX Annual Meeting of the Plastics Sector, we have been honored with the CERTIFICATE for the investments made in recent years. AVEP together with  AIMPLAS · Technological Institute of Plastics with the assistance of the Vice President of the Consell, Aitana Mas, and the Local Minister of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Trade and Labor, Rafael Climent, held the XX Meeting of the Sector.

Moving towards a more sustainable society "does not mean renouncing the presence of plastics, but proposing a new paradigm of production and consumption around the circular economy"

And that's what our project consists of...

Producing 100% recyclable barrier packaging and through a totally environmentally friendly process, is already a reality at the ALCION PACKAGING SOLUTIONS facilities in Valencia.

Motivated by the desire to promote the circular economy and improve the sustainability of our plastic packaging, a few years ago we launched the project and the commitment to the implementation of a new technology for the manufacture of barrier containers, a milestone that became a reality with the installation of the first plasma reactor in the production plant of a Spanish plastic processing company.

Plasma Fluorination is a great technological advance in the manufacture of the range of rigid barrier containers since it allows to obtain plastic containers 100% recyclable, following the line of our new way of understanding packaging.

The implementation of this new technology has meant significant investments aimed not only at machinery, adaptation of production lines, etc. but also at the training of personnel and industrial reorganization at all levels.

The plastic sector

Our sector is key to the transformation of the economic model into a sustainable model and the challenges we are facing make us an innovative, creative industry, far from the demonization to which we have been subjected by certain sectors of society in recent years.

Our sincere commitment to achieve a true circular economy, to advance in energy efficiency and savings, to find improvements in the most unsuspected corners of the activity we develop, is a sign of our technological and innovative capacity as well as our commitment to society and the care of our planet.

For all these reasons, the recognition received for the investments made means for us, ALCION PACKAGING SOLUTIONS, a firm support for our company project and the work of all the people who are part of this team.

ALCION PACKAGING SOLUTIONS (APS) can offer you an integral solution to manufacture custom plastic containers. We can produce each container according to the needs of our customers covering the full cycle, from conception to production.

Whenever you need a new packaging for your products you will have to questionyourself manypoints: how shouldIapproach the launch of this new product, how can I improve the image of my brand, how can I transfer to my packaging all those small details of functionality and ergonomics to help final consumer to use it, howcan I distinguish myself from my competitors...

You can count on APS either to choose from our standard packaging or to develop a new custom plastic packaging. Our experienced product development team and specialists will help you make the best decision, to find the best rigid packaging solution that, surely, will highlight your brand to stand out.

If you are looking for a different packaging, you are in the right place. We encourage you to gointo detail and be clear about the impact you expect in the marketif you go for a counter-worthy packaging.To build a definition of what you really need,we suggest you gothrough:

Product differentiation

How different do you want your packaging to be? What shape are you thinking of? And what colors?Design engineering objectives mustbe analyzed in depthas well.

Functionality

You will have to take into account consumerexpectationsin terms of usability, ergonomic aspects, even one-hand control when dispensing, leakproof closures easy to open, but safe.

Compatibility

It is important to take into account any previous incident of leakage, or packaging deformations that you might previouslysuffer, since, in that case, your product could need a barrier container or a different closure complement ...

Capability to be recycled

Can I use PCR in my packaging? How doI adjust the plastic tax?am I aware of the difficulties in supplying PCR material and the impact it can have on availability and the supply chain?

Availability

Will I be able to assume the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity)? What lead times will I need?

Logistics and storage

How do I need the container to be delivered? What type of packaging, what quantity per pallet? Am I willing to changemy secondary packaging?

Once you have an answer to these questions, you will surely have an idea of what you are looking for. Now we invite you tolearn more about our products and experience in the world of packaging.

Barrier packaging: resistance and impermeability

External agents can cause alterations in the products inside a plastic container, so it is essential to have resistant solutions with the necessary quality to avoid deformations in the container or eventhe degradation of the plastic container itself.

Light, humidity, oxygen, pressure changes, temperature are some of the main agents that tend to cause suchproblems on packaged products.

customized packaging bottles solutions - ALCION

Perhaps you can find the solution to such reactions by using barrier containers, manufactured either with multilayer co-extrusion technology or by plasma fluorination.

Barrier plastic packaging actsprotectingagainst chemical reactions that occur inside the container of certainactive formulas that usually cause gases that deform, break or degrade the container.

It is essential, thus,to verify the packaging-product compatibility to achieve its optimal functionality.

You can also read: How to ensure the preservation of the agrochemical product

Multilayer co-extrusion

Co-extrusion is the simultaneous extrusion of two or more polymers to get a multilayer structure.

This technologyallows to manufacture a container with multiplelayers (multilayer), thanks to the use of several extruders, containing one of them a material that has barrier properties.

The efficiency of multilayer plastic containers manufactured by co-extrusion with barrier layer, for example, lies in using a material that has a high degree of impermeability to oxygen, even if the layer is thin,even underconditions of low humidity.

Plasma fluorination

Plasma fluorination is a new technology that allows to get high barrier in a monomaterial HDPE container manufactured by extrusionblow moulding.This technology accelerates the process of coating the surface of the container by providing barrier properties to containers that remain 100% recyclable, by turning a monomaterial HDPE containerinto a high-performance barrier container.The remarkable thing about this new plastic packaging manufacturing process is that it definitively solves two essential problems of traditional fluorination, the result is a plastic packaging:

PET containers: injectionblow moulding

For certain industries, such as cosmetics and dermocosmetics, having the possibility of tailor-made plastic packaging that respects the specific needs of the products is an essential point to guarantee sales.

The packaging must protect the goods inside but also provide an added value that no packaging manufacturer ignores.

Our injection blow moulding machines work with PET material of virginand recycled grades for use in the cosmetic and dermocosmetic sector, meeting the necessary requirements demande dby the sector.

In ALCION PACKAGING SOLUTIONS we guarantee the best quality and define characteristics to achieve an attractive packaging, essential in the purchase decision of the final consumer.

HDPE containers: extrusion blow moulding

In industrial packaging, the plastic packaging solution must fulfil a bunker function: contain – protect – preserve. Its behavior with the external environment and with the product it contains, its transportation and usability are also important elements to consider in an industrial container for the packaging of chemical products.

Our extrusion blow moulding machines transform HDPE of different grades, both virgin and recycled, to achieve packaging with features and characteristics that allow its full recyclability.

We work with standard neck normsto meet the demand of our customers and open their range of possibilities in the market.

Therefore, HDPE packaging is the ideal plastic packaging technology to properly contain any chemical product.

You maybe interested: HDPE packaging and degassing caps the best way to pack your product

APS: custom-made plastic containers’ production

At Alcion Packaging Solutions we have a wide experience in the manufacture of custom plastic packaging.

Our R&D&I team cooperates with customers to find the perfect and tailor-made solution for their product to combine design, functionality, quality, technique and safety. In addition, we are iso 166002 certified, providing us with the guidelines to organize andeffectively support our R&D&I area, strictly complying with the standards required by such certification.

In this way, with the implementation of the UNE 166002 Standard for R + D + i we have established the first steps to launch the development plansof ALCION PACKAGING

SOLUTIONS where the commitment to innovation and the manufacture of recycled and recyclable plastic containers are the central axes.

Today we are the perfect partner for companies looking for plastic packaging for chemical products manufactured in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. We invite you to learn more by entering our website and contact us for any advice. Let's talk!

cta barrier packaging

Sustainability and the future of plastic packaging were the main issues of the second edition of APS’s Open House Days: Building a sustainable future. It was held along June the 1st and 2nd and it was attended by several experts in packaging technologies and by many professionals from the agrochemical sector. Many attendees who sought to get answers to the changes that are taking place with regards to plastic legislation and, consequently, at many other stages.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), Extrusion blow moulding (EBM) and Plasma fluorination: perfect combination for sustainable plastic packaging

After our CEO’s introductory speech, José Guaita, President of Heura Gestión Ambiental opened the first presentation about legislation and the Extended Producer Responsibility. The attendees were able to see and understand the transition from Delegated Responsibility, which was primarily a responsibility that fell on the customer, to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), which is coming soon and which falls directly on who places the packaging on the market. Major changes at the level of regulations to which we must adapt, and which represent a challenge for the packaging sector.

Where should the plastic sector be headed? Diego Bärlein, Sales Manager of W. Müller, presented his commitment to extrusion blow molding (EBM), since it brings great advantages both in terms of production rate and resistance to chemicals, in addition to debunking the false myth that plastic is the biggest pollutant. And he did it with data. Plastics only account for 12% of all the waste we produce and plastic for packaging produces only 1% of CO2 emissions, for example.

Further to the extrusion-blowing, Steve Steendhoudt, Sales Engineer at Delta Engineering,  took the floor to give details on plasma barrier solutions that undoubtedly provide great advantages, such as resistance to the aggressive products contained into a plastic packaging, impermeability to solvents and resistance to high temperatures. In addition, it also brings great benefits to increase sustainability, since these are easy recycable products, and it can replace multilayer products that require chemical recycling.

At this point, Roberto Bello, Sales Manager of Alcion Packaging Solutions, spoke of the fact that a 100% recyclable barrier plastic container already exists, and it is none other than that produced in Alcion Packaging Solutions by means of plasma fluorination technology.  An environmentally friendly packaging throughout all its production process and behavior, as it provides the necessary barrier properties to protect the packaged product.

Research and UN approval in plastic packaging

To finish with this 360º vision and provide a global solution to those who attended the presentations, Miriam Jiménez, Food Contact Specialist at AIMPLAS, and Laura Benedito, Director of Quality and Environment at Alcion Packaging Solutions, closed the presentations.

Miriam Jiménez made everyone aware of the great work that is being done in R&D&I departments to continuously improve and, in this case, implement these improvements in plastic packaging. They investigate factors such as permeability, which is a critical factor for the shelf life of the product, since the level of oxygen and the level of water in the product affects this. In addition, they also investigate other factors such as exposure time and temperature as well as specific properties of the final application.

Laura Benedito, on her side, gave an overview of the UN  approvals to be taken into account, with emphasis on the ADR (Agreement on Dangerous good by Road) approval and its different provisions, the one relating to hazardous materials and objects and the one relating to transport equipment and transport. She detailed its structure, the classes of hazardous materials, the packaging groups and all the tests that are carried out (chemical compatibility test, drop test, leak test, internal pressure test, permeability test) and those carried out in Alcion Packaging Solutions’s in-house laboratory

Through the different presentations we wanted to give a 360º degree vision of what is a plastic container conceived and manufactured in a sustainable way, as well as all the aspects that must be considered when selecting a safe plastic container with optimal quality, while remaining sustainable.

After the presentations and various clarifications, we opened the doors of our plant to show the attendees what was presented during the morning. Being able to see how the manufacturing process of a plastic container is using plasma fluorination technology provides the vision that at ALCON we are truly committed to finding SOLUTIONS to the challenges that society and legislation poses to PACKAGING and to the sector in general.

We thank to all our partners and speakers for their commitment during these days and the attendees of the event for their participation. We hope to do it again soon because the contact with our customers or potential customers is, without a doubt, what we like the most. Share impressions, solve doubts, transmit our philosophy and way of working and show all the work behind, carried out by a great team of people committed to this GREAT PROJECT that is ALCION PACKAGING SOLUTIONS.

For any questions, before we see each other, you can contact us, we will be delight to do everything possible to solve it.

Thanks to all, see you soon!

cta barrier packaging

Current environmental problems, such as climate change, have made even more evident the need to look for sustainable options in the packaging sector to stop polluting landscapes and oceans. Some of these solutions have been the reduction of single-use plastics and the increased use of recyclable and reusable packaging. Others, however, have taken a development line based on looking for alternative materials that can degrade without causing any damage to the environment, to manufacture what is known as “eco-friendly packaging”.

One of the big concerns today is the large number of plastic containers that end up at sea. Recyclable plastics are intended to give these materials a second life rather than ending up in nature, but it is not enough to produce reusable packaging, it is necessary to raise consumer awareness to give a second use to these packaging once they do not need them.

The difficulty in educating the population in this regard has led to new currents seeking a different solution: some eco-friendly alternatives to packaging that may degrade if they are left down, but the packaging sector still wonders if this is truly the most effective solution.

 

What is eco-friendly packaging?

Eco-friendly packaging generally encompasses both biodegradable and  compostable containers. Biodegradable packaging is usually made from materials derived from plant compounds or additives during the production process in order to make them biodegradable. This means that if they were discarded uncontrolled and ended up in the environment, they will disappear, under certain conditions of biodegradability and in a shorter period of time, being part of nature itself again.

Eco-friendly packaging differs from traditional plastic packaging mainly in the matter that forms them. The material of an eco-friendly bottle might not derive from oil, and in its production no greenhouse gases that harm the environment are emitted.

Besides, there is some other type of containers can be compostable. They can be converted into organic substrate to be used as fertilizer that helps generate new plant matter.

Even though the definition of eco-friendly packaging seems to completely exclude plastics, in fact, many sustainable packaging is made from plastics such as PET. Although this material is not biodegradable or compostable, it is 100% recyclable, so its use is also considered “sustainable”.

 

HDPE And PET plastic download

 

Benefits of using eco-friendly packaging

The demand for eco-friendly packaging has increased enormously in recent years, and the benefits that its use brings to companies are many.

The most obvious and that can be directly verified are those that have to do with sustainability. Sustainable packaging does not produce waste, it either disappears by the action of microorganisms to be part of nature again or it is reused to produce another products.

Eco-friendly packaging also makes little physical difference compared to traditional plastic packaging. That is, these containers are also resistant, protect products, and are just as manageable and visually appealing as those made of plastic.

But without a doubt, one of the biggest advantages experienced by all companies that use eco-friendly packaging is the alignment with the ideals of customers. Using these packaging helps to convey to consumers an  image of awareness  and concern for the environment, which undoubtedly makes them perceive the brand as an entity aware of the latest trends, innovative and, above all, responsible for their own production.

 

Trends in eco-friendly packaging 2021

These last years have been a key time in the development of eco-friendly and sustainable packaging. Demand for organic packaging has grown enormously due to the  need to reduce costs, CO2 emissions, the amount of raw materials used and waste produced. Currently it is possible to obtain plastic material from different renewable sources such as soybeans, grass, maize... these include sugar cane.

Research on new products that allow all these advantages has continued and will continue to grow over the next few years, and makes it possible for this 2021 to already envisage the use of the progress made. Some of these trends in organic packaging for this year are:

What seems clearer is that the trend of sustainable packaging use will continue to grow, companies will continue to look for solutions in which the materials that make up the packaging can be more easily separated and recycled using processes that also do not harm the environment, and eco-friendly packaging will continue to be investigated to offer better features.

Seeking greater efficiency in the storage and transport of products, eco-friendly packaging is undoubtedly one of the most suitable options, although plastic packaging is also changing to suit the new sustainable needs of companies, and to get rid of plastics does not yet seem so clearly to be the best solution.

 

To get rid of plastic in eco-friendly packaging… Is it the solution or does it aggravate the sustainability problem?

Plastic packaging still has certain advantages over fully eco-friendly packaging, especially when it comes to conserving certain products for which greater protection and specific characteristics are needed in packaging.

And while trends seem to point to plastic rejection, many industries and sectors are opting for innovation that will continue to use plastic packaging in a more sustainable way.

This innovation would aim to achieve a separation of the materials that make the plastic containers easier, so that all these materials can be recovered, recycled and given a second use.

But, moreover, new processes are already being developed in the plastics industry with which to obtain eco-friendly packaging with recyclable, compostable and biodegradable plastics that no longer pose a threat to nature.

At Alción Packaging Solutions, we bet on the latest packaging trends, and develop our manufacturing processes sustainably. We implement the latest technologies to achieve packaging with sustainable characteristics which are 100% recyclable, because we want to contribute to the circular economy and responsibility to the environment.

plastic bottles

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