In the company’s industrial scale multilayer packaging, each layer contains a single polymer, either PE or PP, non-barrier or barrier


Packaging found on the store shelves consists of several layers. (Credit: Uniflex.)

Belarusian flexo printing house Uniflex has commenced the industrial production of mono-material structure packaging that supports recycling.

The move is driven by both growing demand and tightened legislation in certain countries, related to environmental standards for packaging, said the company.

Last year, Uniflex has shipped industrially produced ready-made bags made of mono-material structures for confectionery, grocery, pet food, household chemicals, dairy products.

In addition, the company is testing the eco-friendly packaging for other segments.

According to Uniflex, production of recyclable mono-material structure packaging is an important part of its strategy to become a sustainable business.

Uniflex director general Alexander Khomichenko said: “The trend for ecological packaging is set both by the authorities of individual countries and unions and by consumers from among individuals.

“For example, UK and EU plan to increase taxes for non-recyclable packaging significantly by the end of the current decade and half of the recycled packaging must be suitable for repeat usage.

“There are similar plans in Russia –since January 2022, the Government of the Russian Federation will restart the extended producer responsibility (EPR), according to which producers and importers must dispose of manufactured or imported products at the end of their life cycle.”

Uniflex said that the packaging found on the store shelves contain several layers of packaging, made of different types of plastic materials, such as PET, PE, PP, etc.

Every individual layer in the packaging is intended for a specific task, such as formation of seams, and barrier function to extend the shelf life of the product, among others.

The multiple layers are laminated together during the production of multilayer packaging, which makes the packaging difficult to recycle, where delamination is impossible or economically inefficient.

The company has developed and now started manufacturing an industrial scale packaging, where each layer contains a single polymer, either PE or PP, non-barrier or barrier.

In addition to retaining all the usual functions of a multicomponent structure, the packaging is also recyclable, and comes with certain Recycling symbol.

Uniflex deputy general director of technology Sergey Kostin said: “The development of mono-material structure packaging in Uniflex is carried out by Research and Development department (R&D).

“First tests began 2 years ago and the first shipping of the recyclable packaging to client took place in December 2020.

“Since then, many issues have been resolved, many films from various manufacturers have been tested, and now we have a result that completely satisfies both us and our customers.”