The Packaging Cluster and the FoodService cluster organized yesterday the III Day of Sustainability-Reduce, Re-use, Recycle at the Estrella Damm Factory in Barcelona, Spain. After the presentation of Alejandro Utrera, Cluster Manager of Foodservice, Rafa Hernández, of Costa Cruises, explained the 4GoodFood project, "which is managing to reduce 50% of food waste", an objective set for 2030 but which they will achieve ten years before , in 2020. Thanks to this project, prepared food that has not been consumed on the cruise, is properly packaged and sent to solidarity entities in different cities where they stop (in Barcelona, they have an agreement with the Banc dels Aliments). He also explained that they already have two cruises with a liquefied natural gas engine, Costa Smeralda and Costa Toscana, an advance in favor of sustainability.
Next, Javier Mir, from Frit Ravich, talked about "profitable growth" and, in particular, about the FSE coil optimization project, whose objective "is to reduce the consumption of plastics and simplification by adjusting the coils" . In a first phase, it is being applied to nuts and popcorn, to be implemented later in chips and snaks. «It has a double benefit: lower environmental impact and cost reduction». As a result, a decrease in the emission of plastic has been achieved in 18 tons / year, aligned with a sustainability strategy. In addition, an annual saving of 180,000 euros will be obtained, with an improvement in reel cost of approximately 17%. Thus, a simplification and standardization of the coils has been achieved by applying a unique criterion.
Later, Marta Álvarez, from the Áreas group, catering operators, explained the Circular Journey project to reduce the environmental impact, based on substituting references and generating less environmental waste. To remove the plastic, they were fixed in other materials; Thus, they changed the plastic teaspoons, which are used to stir the coffee, by sticks. In order to prevent, they thought not to leave material within reach of the user and deliver it only on request and optimize the elements in the presentation of the offer. To recycle, they sought alternative, more sustainable materials, as well as educating and sensitizing staff and consumers in the selection.
Finally, Santi Aliaga, of Zyrcular Foods, spoke about the challenge of being an integral protein supplier since its inception. It is a fact that the consumption of meat in Spanish households has decreased, from 53 to 47 kilos, and that all subcategories of plant protein foods grow, so is retail. "We have a learning curve, product standardization, we are good in scalability, food safety and traceability, we are related to distribution channels and installed capacity," he said, but perhaps lack of organizational design, open collaborative models, a communicative policy , a partneship with start ups ...
After the introduction of Àlex Brossa, Cluster Manager of the Packaging Cluster, Aida Cierco, responsible for sustainability, food, at Klockner Pentaplast, said: «We have a holistic vision of sustainability, focused on three areas: our people, our operations and our products, designer for the circular economy and with sustainable materials ». For Klockner Pentaplast, with its products, the priority is to guarantee food safety, reduce food waste, design for a circular economy, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, provide operational efficiency and create shared value. «We have a positive commitment to plastics, based on four pillars: innovate (do more with less), accelerate (maximize the use of sustainable materials), educate (promote the value of plastic waste) and activate (drive a change to great scale)".
Next, Aida Cierco explained the legislative framework: the EU plastics strategy and the SUP Directive, which aims to prevent and reduce the impact that certain plastic products have on the environment, particularly in the aquatic environment and human health, as well as promoting a transition to a circular economy through models of sustainable innovation, products and materials, contributing efficiently to the internal functioning of the market.
In recent years, Klockner Pentaplast has used 260,000 tons of post-consumer rPET. The increased use of recycled plastic materials is a key part of its development plan along with the investment in R&D of new materials and recycling techniques.
After the break, an interesting round table was held moderated by Sergi Escuriet of the Lubrizol company, in which participated: Esther Carreras, from La Fageda; Ignacio Martos, of Duni; Pere Coll, from Enplater; Victòria Ferrer, of the Gremi de Recuperació de Catalunya, and Marta Álvarez, of Areas.
"Sustainability is synonymous with social responsibility, trying to build a better world and is the origin of La Fageda," said Esther Carreras. In the first quarter of 2020, they will launch yogurts with 500 ml cartons and, for two months, they are selling yogurt in bulk in a biodegradable container to several stores in Catalonia. In addition, they are working to reduce the grammage of the containers by more than 10%, which means 60 tons of plastic reduction annually, and they have published a sustainability report for ten years, among many other actions.
For Ignacio Martos, “sustainability is the choice of raw material, production in factories and the product cycle”. He also commented that they prefer to talk more about compostability because "the word biodegradable is used a bit lightly today."
Pere Coll explained that Enplater has a line of products that are all recyclable “if we propose them to be; converters have to make it easy for customers” and specified that they are working on monomaterial packagings so that they can have a better recycling. In addition, he affirmed that "plastic is wonderful", defending it: "according to the life cycle analysis, there is no other type of flexible packaging that is better in terms of sustainability than plastic", explaining that other materials, such as aluminum and glass, they need more energy for recycling, and sometimes it is even impossible to recycle a product in which different materials have been mixed together.
In this regard, Victòria Ferrer spoke of the brick, which, being formed by several layers of materials, is not sustainable: «for every kilo of brick, 1 kilo of rejection is generated that goes to the landfill». «The path is the monomaterials» and, coinciding with Pere Coll, he explained that «the monomaterial PET can give 100% recyclability».
Marta Álvarez cited, as an example of difficult-to-replace products, to plastic cutlery: “we are trying to return to stainless steel, but it generates problems (a space for washing, etc. is needed.” Then, there are products that the consumer does not know where to recycle them as the 'paper cup', for hot drinks, which are coated inside so they cannot be put in the paper container.
After the questions of the attendees, the event ended with a drink and some snacks.