FIBCs come with many benefits, but also with challenges. On the one hand, they prevent waste by protecting and preserving the valuable goods inside in the most efficient way possible. On the other hand, FIBCs are often not offered for reuse/reconditioning or recycling, and many FIBCs become waste after use: at least 80% ends up incinerated or in landfill.
At LC Packaging, we believe that our packaging can be a valuable resource instead of waste: a circular packaging solution. Making our packaging more sustainable in cooperation with our customers and our production- and sustainability partners is therefore a key priority for us. Let’s have a look at a couple of the initiatives that we are working on.
Supported by the upcoming implementation of the Plastics Tax in the UK and the EU, the use of recycled content in big bags is increasingly gaining momentum. At LC Packaging, we are working on several initiatives to include recycled Polypropylene (rPP) in our FIBCs. Together with our partner Starlinger we have demonstrated that it is technically possible to make a big bag with 50% rPP content. At the same time, LC Packaging is taking a pro-active role to collect and recycle FIBCs to create a closed-loop system.
LC Packaging believes the future is circular, however in order for the Circular Economy to succeed, it’s crucial that stakeholders throughout the value chain join forces. The high degree of customisation of FIBCs means that many different solutions are needed to improve the sustainability of FIBCs: LC Packaging would like to collaborate with our customers to increase the recyclability of big bags without compromising safety or quality, and is also willing to recollect the used bags after use to ensure they are recycled.
However, how can you be sure if an FIBC with rPP content meets the claimed degree of rPP? To answer this question, we are working on a method to measure the degree of rPP in the fabric of an FIBC by adding a taggant to the rPP material. Based on the taggant, it is possible to identify the recycled versus virgin content in the rPP masterbatch and later in the rPP fabric. The project is currently in the testing phase and intends to provide our customers with full transparency on the use of rPP in our products.
With product safety being of paramount importance, using recycled content in food safe FIBCs is not (yet!) possible. Since food safe FIBCs often consist of an FIBC with a liner, we have developed the option of replacing the liner with a new liner after use. This way, the outer bag can be used multiple times. This liner is easy to release, without compromising quality and safety, and is already being tested with some customers!