Sofidel is proud to work with its supply chain to ensure sustainability. Italian supplier company Plastylenia came up with a solution to cut down on the amount of virgin plastic used in tissue packaging
“It is not possible for a company to exist today if it doesn’t pay attention to the sustainability aspect,” says Francesco Stenta, Sales Manager at Plastylenia, which has been operating in flexographic printing for flexible packaging for more than twenty years. Plastylenia’s line of business includes the manufacturing of printed materials for packaging using paper and plastic.
Plastylenia’s commitment to sustainability led the company to set up a project to look at reducing the amount of virgin plastic used in the production of packaging for the tissue sector. The existing alternative, bio plastic, was in short supply and difficult to use with existing machinery.
“Paper, with other recycled plastic, was the best solution – it is recyclable and compostable,” says Stenta. “The problem is paper is not sealable. This was the birth of our project: to find a way to make paper sealable in a converting machine designed to use only plastic.”
“We studied paper, different varnishes, ways to put the varnish on the paper and many other aspects of the process,” he continues. “We also proposed recycled plastic instead of virgin plastic. In recent years, this allowed us to reduce the quantity of virgin plastic used by Sofidel in their tissue paper production process. Importantly, our customer avoided having to invest in new converting machinery, the new packaging could be used with existing machinery in place at their production plants.”
Getting better results, improving relationships
“Our idea about sustainability is the same as Sofidel’s,” says Marco D’Arrigo of Plastylenia’s quality department. “We introduced the paper and recycled plastic packaging, reducing the consumption of virgin plastic in our production from 100% in 2019 to 84% in 2021.”
Sofidel is keen to work with its suppliers in Italy and worldwide, helping them get better results in terms of environmental and social sustainability and improving relationships, projects, and operational activities, combining efforts and results.
As such, Plasylenia was presented with the Environmental Responsibility award for Medium/Small Enterprises in the ‘Best Sustainability Project’ category, at the Sofidel 2021 3SAwards on 6 December 2021. The judges explained that Plastylenia was rewarded for the activities carried out in recent years aimed at reducing the consumption of virgin plastic in the production of packaging for the tissue sector.
The judges’ rationale was clear: “The current climate and environmental crisis must be addressed in line with the principles of a circular economy, limiting the consumption of raw materials and, specifically, those derived from fossil fuels. The project carried out by Plastylenia is in line with these principles, with activities that address the issue on several fronts, from the reduction of the material used and the search for alternatives, to the reuse of production waste,” stated the judges.
The Plastylenia project was assessed by a Technical Evaluation Committee made up of the Global Compact Network Italy Foundation, Sodalitas Foundation, SGS Italy and WWF Italy.
“We focus on the sustainability of our products and their circularity. During our production process we can recover energy and use it for drying in the packaging print process. We can recover part of the solvent from the inks and reuse after distillation,” says Stenta. “This is our thinking; to look at every part of our production process to improve the way we produce and being ever more sustainable in our business.”
For more information, please visit the Plastylenia website.