Sustainable through digitalization
MULTIVAC joins the cross-company initiative R-Cycle. The aim is to jointly drive forward the circular economy for plastic packaging on the basis of an open and globally applicable tracing standard. R-Cycle records all recycling-relevant information from the production process in the form of a digital product passport and makes it available for recycling. To retrieve the stored information, a machine-readable mark – for example a QR or digital watermark code – is applied to the packaging. In this way, waste sorting systems can use market proven detection technologies to identify fully recyclable packaging and form pure fractions within the recycling process. Precise sorting and transparency regarding the exact composition (types of plastic, printing inks, adhesives, additives, etc.) are key to obtaining high-quality recyclate for high-value recycling.
Stefan Scheibel, Vice President Corporate Training & Innovation Center of the MULTIVAC Group, explains: "In our Innovation Center we are always analyzing the latest trends and advising our customers on the market requirements of tomorrow. Digitization along the value chain has enormous potential in this respect for bringing sustainable packaging into a high-quality recycling process. We think of sustainability holistically. Packaging must effectively protect goods – especially food – in order to conserve resources; at the same time, the packaging itself must be designed sustainably and effective recycling processes must be ensured. In this context, exchange with partners from all involved industrial sectors is essential."
Dr. Benedikt Brenken, Director of the R-Cycle Initiative, adds: "With MULTIVAC, we are gaining another important partner and global player in the value cycle. Not only the material of a package, but also its contents represent important recycling-relevant information, which we capture with R-Cycle. We look forward to working together and generating new momentum in the development and implementation of the R-Cycle standard."
"Sustainability is an integral part of our corporate strategy," explains Guido Spix, Group President of MULTIVAC. "We are pleased that by joining the R-Cycle initiative we can support shaping an industry standard and thus make a positive contribution to promoting the circular economy for plastic packaging. The exchange with upstream and downstream processes in the value chain helps us to understand the individual steps even better and to co-develop sustainable solutions."
In addition to manufacturing packaging machines, MULTIVAC also supplies solutions for processing and cutting, marking and labeling, and also quality inspection and handling of products. The portfolio is supplemented by digital products, such as MULTIVAC Smart Services, which help to increase machine availability and thus efficiency. A digital product passport of plastic packaging can also provide valuable information for this, in order to make the packaging process more efficient, faster and therefore more sustainable.