From downgauging to mono materials, compostable additives, and waste reduction – Aran is making strides toward a more environmentally friendly future
Flexible packaging made of plastic offers numerous advantages, such as its lightweight nature, cost-effectiveness, and versatility in design. However, these packages are typically made from a blend of polymers, which makes their after-use recycling difficult in most cases, or highly challenging. As a leading producer of flexible packaging solutions, Aran is committed to sustainability and taking tremendous steps toward providing end-of-life solutions to face this situation.
Downgauging for Reduced Plastic Usage
One of the most important solutions that Aran employs is downgauging of the flexible packaging. This process involves reducing the thickness of the film while ensuring it maintains the necessary properties to be efficient and withstand storing and transportation. “Our extensive knowledge of polymer materials enables us to achieve this without compromising the packaging’s mechanical properties. We utilize alternative materials made from renewable sources and recycled materials with food-grade standards. All of our product range is available using this bio-polymer alternative, thus providing packaging solutions with a lower carbon footprint to protect the environment”, says Aran R&D manager Yehuda Nahir.
Mono Materials for Enhanced Recyclability
Aran has also made significant strides in designing mono materials packaging. By simplifying the composition of the material, Aran has departed from traditional packaging that relied on multi-layers and metalized polyester. “Previous film structure incorporated a thick EVOH barrier layer with or without nylon, which made recycling not possible. Now we focus on the development of co-extruded products containing only PE and a thin layer of EVOH (less than 5%). This composition enables the bags to be recycled at the PE recycling stream, which can be found almost everywhere on the globe”, says Gil Yanai, Plastics Engineer and Sustainability Implementation manager at Aran Products. This move aligns with market demands for recyclable products and opens new possibilities for recycling facilities. Aran has also taken steps to reduce the use of colors and eliminate carbon black from its packaging. Preference is given to transparent or light colors, as carbon black poses challenges for waste sorting facilities, and causes failure in identifying types of polymers. Another important change to promote sustainability is regarding not the film design but the attached tap. Aran has transitioned to using only low and high-density PE for all taps. In addition, we eliminate the use of artificial colors and use the polymers’ neutral colors. This change facilitates easier recycling as both bags and taps are made of the same material and can be recycled together.
Compostable Additives and Recycled PET
A groundbreaking project was done in collaboration with Midori Bio. Aran Incorporated an additive in the PE formula of their bags, enabling composting of the traditional polymer. This additive, distinct from OXO, allows bacteria in compost environments to break down the material and turn it into bio during landfilling. This project is currently undergoing testing to ensure both bag quality and bag compostability. Aran is also actively exploring the use of recycled PET through chemical recycling methods in its bags.
Recycling PIR and PCR with Roded
Efforts to minimize factory waste get priority. Starting in 2023, in collaboration with Roded, a company specializing in creating pallets through press molding that developed a technique to clean both post-industrial and post-consumer waste. Aran began the process of recycling all of their laminates post-industrial waste. Trials for this project have proven successful and thus Aran has introduced this innovative solution to one of their clients for testing. If successful, Aran plans to offer this end-of-life treatment solution, promoting sustainable practices and recycling options for its products. With Roded, Aran has found recycling solutions for both post-industrial and post-consumer waste.
Incorporating Chemically Recycled Materials
Despite the higher costs involved, our company offers a sustainable approach to manufacturing by utilizing films made from food approved chemically recycled material. While this might not be the conventional choice for liquid food manufacturers, we are committed to environmental responsibility and reducing our carbon footprint. By using films from recycled materials, we can provide a greener solution for the majority of our products. Although it comes at a premium, we believe that investing in eco-friendly practices is essential for a healthier planet and a better future.
Aran’s Sustainable Initiatives
We are dedicated to decreasing our carbon footprint through all of the value chains and improving overall sustainability. By implementing innovative solutions such as downgauging, mono materials, compostable additives, incorporating recycled materials, and actively reducing the use of disposables in our logistical department by reusing cardboard boxes, utilizing reusable plastic boxes, and gradually shifting to non-disposable materials for packaging and transportation. Aran strives to be at the forefront of sustainable packaging practices. Aran displays its commitment to minimizing environmental impact and fostering a more sustainable future through these initiatives.