Parkside’s Park2Nature home and industrial compostable packaging solutions showcased at Plastic Free World Conference & Expo

Parkside’s Park2Nature home and industrial compostable packaging solutions showcased at Plastic Free World Conference & Expo

October 22, 2019
Marcia González

Mark Shaw, NPD manager from Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 exhibitor Parkside Flexibles reveals why many manufacturers are looking compostable packaging to meet their social and sustainability objectives

A decade of R&D has enabled UK packaging specialist and Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 exhibitor Parkside to develop a large portfolio of home and industrial compostable paper and film barrier duplex and triplex laminate films under its ‘Park2Nature’ brand. The range offers a credible alternative to standard flexible packaging that cannot be recycled and has undergone rigorous testing for eco-toxicity, as well as being compliance-tested against EN 13432 directives.

Sustainable packaging is not just about the development of renewable, eco-friendly or recyclable substrate design, it requires attention to the entire supply chain from design to delivery and everything in between

Sustainable packaging is not just about the development of renewable, eco-friendly or recyclable substrate design, it requires attention to the entire supply chain from design to delivery and everything in between. It is a chain of principles that permeates the entire life-cycle of the product from sourcing to disposal.

Brands, retailers and consumers alike feel an unwavering pressure to put the environment at the forefront of their businesses and shopping behaviors. More high-profile brands are seeking sustainable packaging solutions in order to ensure their products reflect changing consumer attitudes towards ‘green’ thinking. Unilever, for example, has committed to use only reusable, recyclable or compostable plastics in its packaging by 2025.

Innovation in compostable packaging is a driving force in the industry, reflecting the changing demands of consumers. Compostable solutions are manufactured from renewable resources such as plant fibers, which reduces reliance on petrochemicals.

Some materials described as biodegradable can release toxins and/or microplastics when breaking down and do not benefit the environment; they are simply an alternative to landfill or incineration

Some materials described as biodegradable can release toxins and/or microplastics when breaking down and do not benefit the environment; they are simply an alternative to landfill or incineration. However, the truly compostable packaging exhibited by Parkside at Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 is different: its disintegration benefits ecosystems rather than harming them by returning natural elements to the earth. Providing a demonstrable benefit to retailers, the Park2Nature collection is accredited by both major compostable certification schemes, fully compliant with EN 13432 and TÜV (formerly Vincotte) directives. Parkside has proudly invested into an extensive R&D program to ensure that the packaging elements perform exactly as intended at each stage of the product life-cycle.

At one time, compostable solutions for common product formats were something of a niche rarity. Now, there appears to be a common commitment by brands and retailers to incorporate them into their ranges, creating a novel sales tool, generating consumer loyalty and offering greater choice. Retailers that are able to harness the benefits of compostable packaging find themselves with a tangible competitive advantage in a market that increasingly calls for eco-friendly credentials.

Packaging manufacturers must be conscious that just like with any other pack development, they should not take a one-size fits all approach. It is vital that key factors are understood which affect the process and ultimately whether it works for the intended product application

Meanwhile, packaging manufacturers must be conscious that just like with any other pack development, they should not take a one-size fits all approach. It is vital that key factors are understood which affect the process and ultimately whether it works for the intended product application.

Products should be assessed with a focus on shelf life, sensitivity to moisture or oxygen, whether the product is carbonated and whether the product requires in-pack heating. Some other factors that brands should consider are whether the compostable packaging design will be lighter or heavier than the packaging it replaces and will the use of biopolymers adversely affect the contents?

The new product development team at Parkside works with brands and retailers to help them design a compostable pack that fits perfectly with their product positioning. This means being involved from start to finish, from initial concept right the way through to production and delivery. With the market now firmly embracing a sustainable ethos, the process employed helps to ensure customers meet their environmental objectives and reach out to their consumers with the right message and appropriately packed product.

Park2Nature home and industrial compostable laminates have the durability and quality of conventional plastics, with the high barrier performance required to maintain food freshness and shelf life. The innovative packaging comprises a cellulose multi-layer laminate created from wood pulp that has been sustainably sourced from eucalyptus plantations waste. The range emulates the qualities and performance of standard flexible packaging, appealing to the food manufacturer, packer and consumer and a real breakthrough for today’s eco-conscious society.

Historically ‘eco packaging’ was often brown and natural looking, providing poor graphic impact and niche eco-positioning. Today, utilizing ultra-high-definition print technology, Parkside manufactures standout compostable flexible packaging that sits alongside contemporary peers to wow the consumer with visually and ethically pleasing graphics and design.

The extensive range of compostable substrates developed by Parkside means that the company is able to target a wide variety of market applications, from coffee to confectionery, both of which can have challenging pack functionality requirements

The extensive range of compostable substrates developed by Parkside means that the company is able to target a wide variety of market applications, from coffee to confectionery, both of which can have challenging pack functionality requirements. In fact, Parkside has recently been shortlisted for two prestigious Starpack Awards for compostable packs it developed for the coffee brand, Percol, and crisp manufacturer, Two Farmers, which enabled them to each become the first in the world to utilize compostable packaging in their respective market categories.

As more manufacturers weave sustainability into the fabric of their businesses rather than seeing it as mere lip service, many are looking for compostable packaging that doesn’t sacrifice durability or quality. Parkside has implemented years of R&D to present a fully accredited alternative to traditional plastics that perfectly meets the challenges of modern sustainability.

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2020 will take place at Cologne Messe, Germany, on Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 17 June. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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