Everyday packaging, especially of the kind that lands on your doorstep, just got a little greener. It also might be the future of ‘green packaging’ embracing the so-called “five R’s” — renewable source, recycled content, reduce material, reuse and recycled.
One of the biggest packaging companies, Sealed Air Corporation, has signed on to Cardia Biohybrid’s (ASX CODE: CNN) technology, adding to the Australian company’s roster that already includes Nestlé S.A., one of the biggest makers of fast moving consumer goods.
“Sealed Air is another example of a major market leader taking the initiative to reduce consumption of virgin petroleum based resin – in this case by a significant 20%,” said Dr. Frank Glatz. “Sealed Air is another example of a major market leader taking the initiative to reduce consumption of virgin petroleum based resin – in this case by a significant 20%,” said Dr. Frank Glatz.
Sealed Air Corporation, the $8 billion U.S. company, agreed to buy Cardia Biohybrid’s proprietary resin used to produce a product that could replace the familiar, but more polluting, bubble wrap. The resin technology, tailored for the plastics packaging industry and called FillAir, creates air cushions that work just as efficiently as bubble wraps to protect goods during transport but is a lot more friendly to the environment. Cardia said the deal follows successful conclusion of extended “in market trials.”
How green can we get?
Co-developed by the Melbourne-based Cardia and Sealed Air, the new R5 FillAir uses less oil and claims a carbon footprint that is lower by about 10%, compared to similar products, with the same packaging performance and cost. It is also fully recyclable.
“First, our Cardia Biohybrid resin enabled Sealed Air to reduce their dependency on non-renewable petroleum based resins by 10% and the incorporation of 10% preconsumer recycled content, meant that this new film reduced the need for petroleum based resins by 20%, as compared to the FillAir Select and Ultra films,” said Glatz. “The second aspect of Sealed Air’s performance standards presented a greater technical challenge. The Cardia Biohybrid resin had to meet precision performance standards during both the manufacture of the film and later at the point of use, when the film is inflated and used as void fill.”
Cardia Biohybrid combines renewable thermoplastics with polyethylene material to reduce dependence on finite oil resources and to reduce carbon footprint. Its range of products includes compostable bubble wrap.
“When it comes to sustainability, we focus on the total life cycle of our products and the products we protect,” said David Weiss, Sealed Air’s business manager. “Our strategy involves understanding the beginning and end of life, in addition to the performance during use. The new FillAir R5 film addresses all of these areas.”