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Recyclable, Deinkable Stand-Up Pouch Wins Gold in German Packaging Award Sustainability Category

In a unique value chain collaboration, Siegwerk, ExxonMobil, Henkel, Kraus Folie, and Windmöller & Hölscher created a recyclable stand up mono-material PE pouch. This innovation won the Gold award in the sustainability category of the German Packaging Awards on 13 September 2023. The awards are described as being dedicated to the “who’s who of the best ideas.”

The award was one of only four gold awards out of 34, and was granted in recognition of the breakthrough development of the fully recyclable mono-material PE pouch created through the collaboration.  The new pouches utilize the latest polymers, inks, functional coatings, adhesives and conversion technology. The innovation allows for pouches that provide a high oxygen barrier, outstanding package integrity and excellent shelf-appeal, and produces an almost colorless recyclate after the removal of printing ink and the oxygen-barrier coating layer.
According to the jury adjudicating this year’s award, “This technology, which now also allows internally printed laminates to become high-quality recyclate again in material recycling, has set another milestone on the path towards a fully functioning circular economy.”

The project partners agree on the extraordinary added value of the collaboration:
“Given the increased regulatory and consumer demand for less packaging waste and more sustainable packaging structures, the benefits of sharing knowledge in strategic partnerships such as this one cannot be overstated. This initiative proves that functionality and performance doesn’t have to be sacrificed to achieve recyclability,” said Dr. Ralf Leineweber, Head of Global Technology Development at Siegwerk.

“The present project underpins the importance of collaboration across the value chain to drive innovation towards a more circular economy. With recyclability becoming a key requirement of packaging, the combination of performance polyethylene with materials and processes designed to feature sustainability benefits allows for a realistic alternative to today’s multimaterial packaging,” said Dr. Joachim Laun, Senior Polyethylene Technologist at ExxonMobil.

“This successful cooperation shows in an impressive way that the challenges of a circular economy can only be overcome through strategic partnerships along the value chain and working together toward a common goal. With the oxygen barrier coating developed in cooperation with Siegwerk as well as with a laminating adhesive compatible with recycling we could make an important contribution to this innovative mono-material flexible packaging for dry food products,” said Stefan Glötzel, Senior Manager Business Development at Henkel.

"At Windmöller & Hölscher, we've always strived to push the boundaries of innovation in the packaging industry. Working with industry leaders on this project has been a remarkable journey. This recognition reaffirms our commitment to delivering cutting-edge solutions that drive sustainability in the world of packaging, “ said Wolfgang Sprehe, Manger Technical Center at Windmöller & Hölscher.

More information about the awards is available here: https://www.verpackung.org/events/deutscher-verpackungspreis