We know that in 2022, in order to preserve our planet and our ecosystem, we must put ecology at the center of the debate. Thus, it is crucial that everyone can act at his or her level to change and improve the way we consume on a daily basis.
In our sector of activity, it is also essential that we can offer our partners eco-responsible solutions for the future. Of course these solutions must be sustainable, i.e. in addition to having a lower ecological impact, these solutions must also remain profitable for producers as well as for consumers, who with a significant price increase are likely to withdraw, despite all good will.
We at Enopac have been offering machines with some of the lowest power consumption on the market for years, as well as short production routes with local products and sustainable, recyclable or recycled manufacturing materials, to have a reduced total carbon emission for each packaging machine we integrate.
The last action we can take at our level, and not the least, lies in the packaging itself, still too often made of plastic nowadays, and it is this point that we will detail in this article.
Who is ET PACK SPRINTER ?
Founded in 1989 in Quimper, Brittany (France) under the name EMBALLAGE TECHNOLOGIES, ETPACK has built a solid reputation in the design, development and production of solutions for your primary and secondary packaging projects as well as end of lines.
On their new production site, they design and manufacture a wide range of automated machines to meet your needs for solid board and corrugated board mechanization, up to robotized palletization.
Thanks to the quality and reliability of their equipment, and the expertise of their teams, who are involved in companies on a daily basis, they provide efficient and sustainable solutions.
We at Enopac are proud to have worked with them for several years, to share their values and to be the official integrators of their solutions on North American soil (USA and CANADA).
We all know it now, as the media have reminded us over and over again : plastic is harmful, for our health but also and especially for our planet. Indeed, we have difficulties to recycle and reuse it, it takes hundreds of years for it to degrade naturally (if it degrades at all) and this is not without impact on the fauna and flora, yet we continue to produce massively.
Here are some numbers as a reminder, given by National Geographic: Since 2015, more than 6.9 billion tons of plastic waste has been produced. Only about 9% was recycled, 12% was incinerated, and 79% was accumulated in landfills or in nature. Today, the main market for plastics is packaging. This segment now accounts for nearly half of all plastic waste generated worldwide, most of which is never recycled or incinerated. In the United States alone, in 2018, the EPA estimated that about 15 million tons of plastic packaging was produced.
Faced with this emergency, many governments around the world are implementing measures to try to respond effectively. In Canada, for example, a law aims to reduce the consumption of single-use plastic packaging by more than 23,000 tons by 2030, by allowing only recyclable and reusable plastic packaging, which currently constitutes only 9% of total plastic packaging. In Europe also, where 37% of the packaging is made of plastic with a very low share of them recyclable, a directive dated May 2018 aims to ban plastic packaging for many everyday products by 2026, including most fruits and vegetables, which will interest us for the continuation of our case study exposed here.
ET PACK precursor of sustainable solutions, the Savéol case study
Our partners ET PACK Sprinter did not wait for the legal obligations before proposing environmentally friendly solutions in their range of automatic packaging machines with 100% cardboard packaging solutions and therefore without any plastic.
These solutions did not take long to interest the main fruit and vegetable producers, such as the giant Savéol, which found this solution perfectly suited to their flagship product, pesticide-free cherry tomatoes. The cardboard packaging is almost entirely recyclable and reusable, which is a first for the cherry tomato market, which is still mostly packaged in plastic trays wrapped in another plastic film.
Despite an express demand for these machines by Savéol in the middle of a global pandemic at the beginning of 2020, ET PACK was naturally able to meet the requirement and deliver the desired automatic machines on time. It is important to note that since ET PACK and Savéol are both companies based in Finistère, the short circuit was once again favored, which is consistent with the objective of the eco-responsible approach initiated by this project.
The machines proposed by ET PACK allow to form the cardboard (initially flat) by folding it into a box, to fill the box with your product and then to glue the box on the front and / or on the edges according to the desired final packaging. All this is automated and we can offer you solutions up to 140 boxes per minute in terms of production rate.
Of course, if in the case of Savéol we are dealing with cherry tomatoes, this 100% cardboard box solution is adaptable to a whole lot of other food products currently packed in plastic bags. This is the case for products such as strawberries, raspberries, grapes, cherries, blueberries, currants, blackberries, cranberries, plums, kiwis, apples, pears, prunes, dried apricots ginger, bananas, lettuce, spinach, clementines, oranges, avocados, leeks, zucchini, eggplant, peppers, cucumbers, potatoes, carrots, onions, turnips,… And many other daily food products that it would be too long to mention here in an exhaustive way but globally almost all fruits and vegetables are concerned.
So replacing plastic with ecological solutions like the one proposed here by ET PACK could have a major impact on the consumption of plastic packaging worldwide.
To explain visually how these machines work, we have made an explanatory video:
Join the movement and adopt an ecological solution 100% cardboard for your packaging products! You’ll win on all fronts: you’ll save money in the long run by using recyclable and reusable packaging, knowing that governments will gradually tax producers who continue to use plastic; you’ll also be better perceived by your customers and you’ll attract new customers who are sensitive to the environment; and last but not least, you’ll preserve our beautiful planet!