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Flexible Packaging and Sustainability

Sustainability is one of our long-held core values. Learn about our commitment to sustainable packaging solutions, and how it can benefit both you and your customers.

Our Sustainability Story

For Scholle IPN, sustainability is a journey, not an end. We cooperate throughout the value chain in multiple markets to provide environmentally-conscious solutions. Our aim is to remain competitive while utilizing internal and external resources to make a positive impact for our employees, our communities, and the Earth.

Our total flexible packaging solutions offer significant source reduction compared to rigid containers, resulting in less energy required and less greenhouse gas emissions. Whether your products are intended for a retail, institutional, or industrial application, you’ll see improved yields and shelf life, leading to less food and product waste. With bag-in-drum or IBCs, reusable shipping containers can be incorporated, eliminating the need for single-use containers, which diverts landfill waste.

1.75 Earths

1.75 Earths

Required to meet all of humanity’s raw material needs this year.*

Under today’s linear model, the amount of resources extracted from our planet are rising by nearly 2% per year with roughly 82bn tons of raw materials expected to be extracted from the planet in 2020, more than double that required in 1980. And that’s only the stuff that we want. The Sustainable Europe Research Institute (SERI) estimates that OECD countries produce 21bn tons of materials that never enter the economic system, such as harvesting losses, dredged materials, and other by-products.

* HSBC – “Waste less, grow more,” September, 2019

Population Growth and Flexible Packaging

World Population Growth, 1700-2100

The world population is predicted to reach 10.9bn people by the year 2100. While our population growth rate is slowing, the amount of new people who need access to resources each year is outpacing the Earth’s ability to support them.

With natural and man-made crises looming (access to fresh water and food, fossil fuel depletion, and rising temperatures due to climate change), we must change how we use our available resources to help heal the Earth while sustaining the population.

Flexible packaging can directly support the environmentally-conscious production, distribution, and protection of food and beverage products. Specifically, smart flexible packaging solutions can help reduce resource load in critical metrics like:

  • Total Energy Used
  • Total Material Weight
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  • Landfill Space
  • Food Waste

 

Global Plastic Packaging Production, 1950-2050

It’s clear that business-as-usual is not a sustainable practice. We are at a critical inflection point where significant behavioral changes must occur in nearly every aspect of our lives, including how we package, distribute, and use food, beverage, and non-food products.

At the least, we must begin wide-spread source reduction efforts in packaging, including:

  • Downgauging and light-weighting wherever possible.
  • Use mono-material film and fitments to enable recycling.
  • Concentrate liquid products to reduce amount of packaging and energy used to ship water weight.

At our best, flexible packaging can empower closed-loop, circular packaging systems with results like:

  • Improved, high-efficient mechanical recycling systems installed at micro-regional sites.
  • Chemical recycling systems that can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Re-fill style, bulk packaging and dispensing systems for retail outlets like supermarkets.
Scholle IPN ESG Report

Scholle IPN Environmental Report

We're producing regularly-updated environmental, social, and governance reports. Check here regularly for additional downloads and information about our work in creating flexible packaging solutions for a circular economy.

Download Report

A Total Solution for Sustainable Packaging

Our products and processes are built upon the responsible stewardship of Earth’s resources. Our business strategy—and resulting solutions—are built around the core idea that we can do more with less.

ScholleIPN baby and toddler baby formula packaging

Recyclability

Simple, mono-material construction of components to aid recyclability of finished packaging.

Lightweight

Tenacious approach to removing all waste and unnecessary source material and still do the job right.

Product Protection

High-barrier film and closed-loop fitment systems that keep products fresh and safe from day one.

Equipment

Engineer forming, filling, and sealing equipment with high OEE expectations that use the minimum amount of resources during use.

Quality

Quality and safety are always our first thought. Our products and processes must perform 100% of the time and cannot fail.

Legislative Compliance

Research and Development considers current and future-state regulatory concerns with novel, timely solutions.

Manufacturing

Our global footprint and focus on vertical integration ensure we make the right product, in the right places, at the right costs, with the right amount of resources.

Communicate and Inform

Packaging that provides simple, intuitive use and disposal. Exciting brand and graphical opportunities.

Scholle IPN and the Circular Economy

The circular economy promotes sustainable development by designing products, systems, and processes that focus on recycling and reuse, ultimately minimizing waste, conserving natural resources, and providing efficiency gains.Circular Economy Chart

How We Provide Value Throughout the Circular Economy

1. Raw Material Selection – Aim for circularity by specifying base materials which are post-consumer recycled.

2. Product Development and Production – Design for light footprint, recyclability, and circularity with maximum performance to minimize any waste.

3. Equipment OEE – High-speed, efficient filling and sealing equipment runs on minimal inputs (labor, electric, air, footprint).

4. Logistics – Less weight, more product per pallet and truck. Ambient, aseptic supply chains eliminate reliance on costly cold-chain logistics.

5. Product Waste – Extended shelf life with aseptic solutions. Up to 99% product evacuation with efficient dispensing options.

6. Consumer Use – Extended shelf life of opened products. Simple ergonomics for all ages and abilities. Re-closable fitments reduce the chance of spills and product waste.

7. Recycling – Mono-material components engineered for mechanical or chemical recycling that create value after their initial use.

Case Studies in Sustainability

Scholle IPN ESG Report

Water Packaging

Nearly 1.5 million plastic bottles are sold every minute throughout the world. Approximately 70% of these bottles end up in landfills where they take at least 450 years to completely degrade.

Scholle IPN has packaged water in bag-in-box all over the world for over 20 years. We’ve produced over 60 million 3-gallon bag-in-box packages, which replace production of 1.3 billion 16.9 oz (500 mL) water bottles.

The Environmental Results of Switching to Bag-In-Box

Neverfail Sustainability Case Study Header

The manufacturing of our containers produces minimal emissions, offers a better product-to-package ratio, and collapses as it’s used, ensuring that every drop is expelled.

Here are some ways Bag-In-Box packaging has improved the water market’s environmental scores over the last 20 years and 60-million packages:

  • Plastics Saved: Saved 86% plastics use compared to bottles.
  • Total Weight Saved: Saved 2,404,040 kg (5,300,000 lbs). Equal to 44 rail cars.
  • Total Energy Saved: Saved 1,200,000,000 MJ. Energy equivalent of 204,752 barrels of oil.
  • Total Greenhouse Gas: 22,300,000 kg (24,582 US tons). Equal to 4,900 cars driven for one year.
  • Total Post-Consumer Solid Waste: Saved 509,958 m3 (667,000 yd3). Equal to 6 Royal Albert Halls.

Scholle IPN ESG Report

Lightweight and Recyclable Pouches

Materne’s GoGo squeeZ brand is working to lower their reliance on resources and packaging has been a primary focus.

We’ve worked with Materne to develop a recycle-ready film structure for their pouches, and to significantly reduce their closure’s overall plastic weight.

The Environmental Results of Recyclable Film and Lightweight Fitments

Materne Sustainability Case Study Header

RecShield
Our recycle-ready, high-barrier family of films for flexible packaging like spouted pouches.

  • Available in PE and PP structures.
  • Provides recyclability for the environment with barrier protection to reduce food waste.

Lightweight Fitments
We engineer fitments with as little waste as possible. In this example, our R&D team:

  • Reduced the fitment weight by 43%.
  • Eliminated 2,267,962 kg (5,000,000 lbs) of plastics by making this change. That’s the same weight as 5 Airbus A380s!

Scholle IPN ESG Report

Eliminating Waste in Automotive Lubricant Packaging

Shell Lubricants was striving to satisfy their customer’s need for the most sustainable and ergonomic package for motor oil in the industry.

Moreover, Shell also needed to respond to service operators’ call for an easier-to-use, faster, and more-economical package by changing their traditional, rigid 1-liter (1-quart) bottles to flexible bag-in-box packaging.

 

The Environmental Results of Bag-In-Box for Automotive Lubricants

Shell Sustainability Case Study Header

The result was the performance packaging solution, Ecobox™ which offers many more benefits than simply holding the product. Ecobox™ is an exceptional opportunity for Shell Lubricant’s customers to expand their specialty oils offerings without the need for bulk storage.

Since launching the Ecobox with Shell in 2012, we’ve gone on to manufacture +60mm packages across the world, destined for both institutional and retail channels.

Bag-in-box packaging helps reduce waste in this market application by:

  • 65% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions versus rigid bottles.
    • This is equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 35,888,789 liters (9,480,815 gallons) of gas consumed.
  • 99.9% product evacuation (significant improvement over bottles).
  • Since 2012, we’ve diverted +1,000,000,000 1-liter (1-quart) bottles from production and landfill.

Scholle IPN ESG Report

Pouch Packaging for Concentrated Beverages

Coca-Cola’s Freestyle dispensing system was introduced in 2009. With a touchscreen-operated flavor selection interface, consumers can custom-make +100 drink flavor combinations.

The key to making this system work was to package super-concentrated flavorings in small pouches separately; then mix the flavors with bulk HFCS from bag-in-box packaging and carbonated water dispensed at the on-site location.

The Environmental Results of Concentrating Liquids

Coca-Cola Sustainability Case Study Header

The Freestyle system created a range of significant environmental savings with its packaging, but also fuel emissions through eliminating the need to load trucks with water-based post-mix syrup bags.

Some benefits of the Freestyle system:

  • Eliminate trucking of water (and related fossil fuel waste) found in traditional, bulk bag-in-box post-mix products.
  • Each flavor pouch uses 85% less plastic than a post-mix bag-in-box package.
  • Since 2017, we’ve diverted 95,254,440kg (21,000,000 lbs) of plastic.

Weight is Waste

Flexible packaging can reduce overall material weight by 93% compared to rigid formats like glass bottles, saving valuable greenhouse gas production.

Our Three R's

 

Source Reduction Triangle

Reduce

Do More With Less

  • Significant source reduction compared to rigid containers; including lightweight fitments and downgauged films.
  • Improved yields and shelf life lead to less food and product waste.
  • Less in-process waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Less energy and fuels needed for transportation.
  • Better product-to-package ratio than most rigids allows for reduced packaging waste.

Reuse

Smart Resource Management

  • Incorporate reusable shipping containers for large customers.
  • Bulk-size packaging eliminates need for single-use containers, diverting landfill waste.
  • Use of mechanically and chemically-recycled resins.

Recycle

Move Toward Circularity

  • Barrier film solutions feature mono-layer technologies that simplify recycling processes.
  • Continuously innovate with the goal of fully-recyclable packaging where local capabilities allow.

Our Sustainability-Focused Memberships

ScholleIPN Simply Flexible

Your total flexible packaging solution from idea to execution.

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Packaging for the circular economy

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