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After almost four years of development, Mondi and Werner & Mertz will introduce a new, patented, 100 per cent recyclable pouch with detachable decorative panels. The pouch – made of polyethylene – will replace conventional flexible packaging for the Frosch branded products such as washing and dishwashing powders.

The project began four years ago, when brand owner Werner & Mertz decided to develop packaging which it said it wanted to be recyclable in the fullest sense. This was before most fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies viewed a commitment to sustainability as an indispensable building block for brand equity. Several packaging suppliers told them it could not be realised. Then the company met packaging materials and paper supplier Mondi.

Werner & Mertz was clear that it was not about developing flexible plastic packaging that is only theoretically recyclable – packaging likely to end up in landfill. Rather, the design aim was to reverse-engineer the recycling process: to create packaging fit for every stage of the recycling process.

The packaging needed to be made of a polyethylene mono-material, which is a prerequisite for recycling. “Our collaboration with Werner & Mertz shows, in the best possible way, how challenges can become solutions,” said Jens Kösters, manager Technical Services, Mondi Consumer Goods Packaging, “We worked our way through an innovation funnel- testing different materials until we arrived at a designed-for-recycling concept that convinced everyone at each point of the value chain. Furthermore, the concept offers clear benefits related to sealing strength and maximum filling volume.”

The pouch has two layers, to solve the issue of recycling printed plastic materials. “We dress the pouch up in an eye-catching outer garment that is printed with brand design on the front and consumer info on the back,” said Sander. “When the pouch is empty, we undress it automatically by shredding and sorting the two components into separate recycling streams.”

The patented pouch is now 100 per cent recyclable. The material is free of glue or adhesive. Spout and cap are also made of polyethylene – which means the recycled material will be equivalent in quality to the original material.

The packaging needed to be made of a polyethylene mono-material, which is a prerequisite for recycling. “Our collaboration with Werner & Mertz shows, in the best possible way, how challenges can become solutions,” said Jens Kösters, Manager Technical Services, Mondi Consumer Goods Packaging, “We worked our way through an ‘innovation funnel’— testing different materials until we arrived at a designed-for-recycling concept that convinced everyone at each point of the value chain. Furthermore, the concept offers clear benefits related to sealing strength and maximum filling volume.”

 

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