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Initiative

Design, development and promotion of a fully recyclable packaging material (for chocolates) made of aluminium

Design, development and promotion of a fully recyclable packaging material (for chocolates) made of aluminium
SUBMITTED FROM:

SYMETAL S.A.

SYMETAL S.A.

Symetal produces a wide variety of aluminium foil products and aluminium-based packaging materials used in packaging solutions for the food, tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, as well as aluminium foil products for household and technical use.

Read more:  www.symetal.gr


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Objective Action

The development of a highly eco-friendly product, which meets both the contemporary needs of customers and consumers, and the legislation requirements, that impose quantitative recycling targets with regard to specific materials contained in packaging waste.

 

Target Audience

The target audience is our customers who deal with the production and retail distribution of luxury packaging for chocolates in various sizes.

 

Duration

2019-2020


Description

With more than 40 years of experience in aluminium products processing, Symetal is capable of offering new sustainable solutions to different types of food packaging, such as to the specific type of packaging, intended for chocolates in individual packaging.

The rapid growth in the packaging and materials technology sectors has made it necessary to establish laws and regulations, to ensure the safety of the consumers, as well as to reduce the negative effects that the packaging sector may have on the environment.

The new product promoted by Symetal, intended to replace the currently used material (aluminium foil laminated to paper), consists only of lacquered or plain aluminium with special mechanical properties that could also be embossed. The embossing on the aluminium surface gives the product the properties required by the customer concerning the folding of it, which ensures the protection of the packaged food.

Aluminium, which is characterized as "the green metal" (mainly thanks to its properties and infinite recyclability), is light, shiny with strong mechanical properties, good barrier properties and fully recyclable without losing its properties. At the same time, its recycling leads to significant energy savings, as the energy required for the recycling process reaches only 5% of the energy required to produce the primary aluminium.

In comparison to the new product, as described above, the current product has a recyclability rate of 35-38%, depending on the thickness of the aluminium layer, since only this can be recovered from the recycling process of the aluminium foil laminated to paper.

In any case, as a packaging material, embossed aluminium has a better environmental footprint compared to aluminium laminated to paper.

Moreover, in 2020, in collaboration with one of our customers, a trial production was carried out at its premises, in the presence of Symetal's specialized technicians, to ensure that the new material can be properly used, without requiring significant changes that may affect the customer's production process. The test was completely successful, in terms of both the production stage and the final result of the food packaging.


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Impact on Society

The project concerns a significant number of our customers with a total annual consumption of aluminium foil laminated to paper that exceeds 250 tons. So far, the tests have been carried out in two different customer plants, with the response to this initiative being utterly positive.

After the completion of the first successful tests, the aforementioned plants requested to proceed to large-scale tests as soon as possible. The goal is the complete replacement of the aluminium foil laminated to paper used by our customers, by the new, fully recyclable material proposed and promoted by Symetal within 2021.

The aforementioned customer plants have an annual consumption of around 80 tons of aluminium foil laminated to paper, a quantity that can be replaced by around 50 tons of fully recyclable aluminium.



Initiative Location

Symetal - Foil Converting Plant (Mandra, Attica)


Working with Organization

The initiative was carried out in collaboration with Symetal’s customers in order to test the material on the already existing mechanical equipment of their production premises.


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Workers Participation

During the product development phase, executives of the Research and Development department were involved, as well as executives of the Commercial department who approached the customers, in order to help them realize the need to change the current packaging.


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Benefits for Οrganization

The benefits for Symetal are:

  • Promoting innovation and keeping the Company between the international competition (competitive advantage at sectoral national and international level).
  • Maintaining customer satisfaction at high levels by foreseeing and responding to their needs.
  • Satisfaction of every customer seeking and implementing long-term solutions to the global environmental problem, in accordance with European legislation on packaging and packaging waste.
  • Upgrading of customer relations on a technical basis, emphasizing on the competitive advantages offered by the vertical structure of ElvalHalcor’s aluminum rolling division.
  • Improving the Company’s environmental footprint thanks to the disposal of materials that require less energy for their production.
  • Responding to green entrepreneurship and green economy that demand development and offer of green products.
  • Corporate contribution to the national and European market through the production and distribution of products that contribute to sustainable development.



Connection with Global Goals







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