Searching for the ideal packaging

  • Written by VeVeRo
  • Published in Blog
  • Date: Monday, 07 October 2019 10:54
  • Read: 24 times
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Packaging is everything, without packaging everything is nothing, because we cannot ship our products loose. In the blog you can read why the search for the ideal packaging is difficult, what problems we encounter and what a solution can look like.

Of compromises and a glimmer of hope

We at VeVeRo have a problem. And that means "packaging". We can't ship our carefully selected products without it. The packaging enables easy transport, protects against environmental influences and is used for storage. It must therefore meet certain requirements. The ideal packaging

  • is stable and tearproof
  • does not release any substances to foodstuffs
  • can be resealed for storage

At VeVeRo, further considerations play a role, because in this area, too, we want to act in a more climate-cautious, environmentally friendly and sustainable way. That is why we are looking for packaging that

  • is ecologically sensible and
  • recyclable,
  • made of sustainable material and
  • as little material as possible

We have researched, read and phoned a lot to find the ideal packaging. Unfortunately, we have had to compromise on every possible solution so far. But there is also good news and a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

Kraft paper, composite materials or plastic?

We would prefer to pack our products in paper. As thin as possible, already recycled and easily reusable. However, paper has several disadvantages. Especially thin bags tear quickly. Thicker bags require more material - the packaging becomes inflexible and heavy. In addition, paper is rather tricky from an environmental point of view. Because mountains of paper are needed, the production process is rich in energy and consumes a lot of water. Paper offers products hardly any protection against moisture. All in all, unfortunately, no suitable material for shipping our food.

In addition to pure paper packaging, kraft paper is also available with a protective coating inside. Paper on the outside, protection on the inside. Unfortunately, the composite of the materials is so tight that they can hardly be separated again and are therefore difficult to recycle. Another possibility less.

So if it can't be paper, we have to turn to plastics with a heavy heart. Even if it is difficult, there are many good arguments for plastic packaging. It is

  • light
  • tear-resistant
  • recyclable and
  • protects food

But plastic is rightly the subject of criticism. Some plastics contain softeners and other unwanted substances that can contaminate food. They are usually extracted from oil, a raw material with limited availability. Depending on the type, plastic takes between 100 and 450 years to decompose. This is particularly a problem if it is not appropriately disposed. If packaging is disposed of in the recycling waste, the material can be well recycled. Admittedly, the rate of material reuse - i.e. genuine recycling, in which new products are created - has so far been too low. Thanks to the new Packaging Act, there have been higher targets since January 2019. According to the Federal Environment Agency, 58.5 % of all plastics must be recycled first, and from 2022 even 63 %... That is not enough for us at VeVeRo. That's why we continued our search.

The glimmer of hope

During our research, we found a company that produces plastic from cellulose. It becomes particularly sustainable when cellulose is produced as a waste product in another industry. For example in the wood industry. The finished plastic is stable and protects the product. It is also quickly degradable in domestic compost. A real advance. But like so much good news, this one also contains a drop of bitterness: the material is not yet on the market. The year 2020 will be exciting, we will stay on it.
For really large quantities of several kilos, we are considering tinplate containers. They are very suitable for storage because they protect the product from moisture and prevent possible pest infestation. These containers can also be reused.

Our packaging material

Until we have found the ideal solution, we must make compromises. Currently (October 2019), we rely on different solutions, depending on the product and quantity. Our bags are made of oriented polypropylene (OPP). The material offers

  • Protection against moisture
  • Barrier for fat
  • sturdiness
  • temperature stability
  • very good recycling properties

You can recognise polypropylene packaging by its recycling code 05. In order for the material to be recycled, it must be sorted out of the remaining waste. This is particularly successful if the material is transparent, at least light colours should be used, as these are also easier to find for machines.

May we make a wish?

We would be very pleased if you could help to reduce the impact on the environment as much as possible by using our packaging several times if possible and then disposing of it in the recycling waste. In this way the material can be recycled. We hope to be able to inform you soon about innovations in the field of packaging.

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