Sustainable and honest packaging for the world of the future

OPTIMA sets up a Sustainability Department!

The Optima Group based in Schwaebisch Hall, Germany, has
made sustainability one of its central tenets. To this end, a
Sustainability Department has been set up to concentrate on
developing ideas and solutions.

The issue of sustainability has become increasingly important.
Discussions with major food and paper hygiene groups, and with
partner companies, have confirmed the need for a comprehensive
approach to the issue along the entire value chain. So for Optima,
Sustainability is one of the four core issues, along with Flexibility,
Safety and Digitalization.

The Sustainability Department is provided with support by
project teams. The newly created “Sustainable Solutions” department also
highlights the importance of this issue. From now on, Dominik
Broellochs and Ulrich Burkart will be coordinating all of the
sustainability initiatives for the Optima Group. They will be
supported by project teams that are created on the basis of the
expertise required and the specific issue. This means that the
“Sustainable Solutions” team has at its disposal the largest possible
capacity and an extensive network.

“We are shouldering the responsibility for the world of tomorrow,”
Joachim Dittrich, Chairman of the Optima Consumer Division,
explains the new approach. “What will tomorrow’s world need?
What are consumers expecting and what will their purchasing
behavior be like?” For Optima, these and other issues will be pivotal
in the coming years. “Honest packaging” is particularly important to
the team. After all, not everything that looks sustainable actually is
sustainable. “Frequently, on first sight packaging may look highly
environmentally friendly. However, when you compare the
ecological assessment with other packaging materials, it soon
becomes clear that appearances can often be deceptive,” explains
Dominik Broellochs. “Poorly designed packaging systems result in
waste,” says Broellochs. Comprehensive approaches to managing
recycling prevent waste and make it possible to reuse or reprocess
packaging in a sustainable way.

This is why Optima has set itself the goal of developing the “honest,
sustainable packaging” of the future. Already today, there is
considerable expertise being fed into machine development. The
best solutions for the future are being identified, working in
collaboration with customers, packaging material suppliers and
material manufacturers. Safety still plays an important role, but
always from the point of view of environmental compatibility. This is
also regularly checked working closely with research bodies.
Wherever possible, the use of new barrier solutions should ensure
product protection as well as material degradability and
recyclability. For example, cellulose and other materials that have
been somewhat overlooked, like cellophane, are being tested.
Compliance with legal requirements is checked and validated
The implementation of legal requirements and guidelines in the
company is checked and validated as part of its Corporate Social
Responsibility.

In the future, Optima will be reporting on the latest developments and solutions on a regular basis.

Optima is currently implementing projects with paper packaging. For
instance, this is possible with the OPTIMA OSR packaging machine
(pictured) for toilet rolls. Systems like these can be adapted from film or
paper packaging in a flexible way. Optima is working with pure paper, and
no coatings are needed for this packaging.
Working together with Fripa, one of the first paper packaging projects was
completed.

Written by Kevin Gambrill

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