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    Turn waste into new products
    Plastics and sustainability
    Plastics and sustainability

      Sustainable approaches to plastics – with closed-loop solutions by Krones

      In which direction is the packaging market currently heading? Which political and social developments will we be faced with when it comes to the use of plastics? Obviously no-one can look into the future, particularly in turbulent times such as these, which is why we at Krones prefer to concentrate on what we do well: Developing sound strategies for a range of packaging scenarios – and using them to derive tangible solutions for our customers.

      One thing is certain: There must be a radical change in the way people treat packaging and resources – and a shift away from the wanton consumption of resources towards a closed-loop circular economy. We are firmly convinced that it is possible for PET and the other plastics materials used in packaging to have an environmentally compatible future. Why? Because we have the technologies today to make the sustainable use of these materials conceivably simple and, most importantly, profitable.

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      In the preform production process, every tenth of a second in cycle time and every tenth of a gram in weight count. And there are plenty of potentials for meaningful savings. To exploit them, two things are necessary: firstly comprehensive knowledge of the properties and the behaviour exhibited by the various preform materials, and secondly a profound insight into the production processes involved – both into preform injection-moulding and into the salient aspects governing subsequent container stretch blow-moulding. You will find both of these in the Krones Group.

      MHT AG, a company that has specialised in making PET tools for producing preforms, has been part of the Krones family since 2018. Its performatively excellent high-tech injection-moulding tools

      • image all preform designs and threads in common use;
      • are suitable for almost all machine platforms known on the market;
      • are based on an innovative hot-runner technology developed in-house.

      MHT Mold & Hotrunner Technology AG

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      Individual solutions and complete factories

      Would you like to produce preforms and caps made of recycled or new material? A company of the Krones Group will assist you here as well: the Integrated Plastics Systems AG – briefly IPS. Among others, the following services are offered:

      • From engineering of systems for preform and cap production all the way to turnkey factories
      • Sustainable saving of material and energy consumption
      • Customised container design

      Integrated Plastics Systems AG

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      The ideal package offers persuasively attractive pluses in all situations: in the production process and at the point of sale, during transport and finally during recovery as well. Since Krones has signed up to providing holistically conceived solutions, development work on both bottle design and machine technology goes hand in hand. It is only when both these aspects supplement each other to perfection that the best solutions are arrived at – for producers, consumers and the natural environment alike.

      The packaging designers from Krones

      • advise clients on design, material, product requirements and technical implementation of packages;
      • optimise existing designs in terms of weight, haptics and line efficiency;
      • possess in-depth expertise in the ecological and economic requirements involved, such as material selection, recyclability or weight optimisation.

      A whole bandwidth of different technical solutions can be found in the Krones portfolio for the journey from the preform to the ready-for-sale product. And the innovation process embraced by Krones sees to it that these solutions grow in line with more stringent market requirements and also provide answers to the challenges of tomorrow. One element of crucial importance in this context is the enviro sustainability programme, because it makes sure that any newly developed products, and any upgrades, too, are focused on eco-efficiency and environmental compatibility right from the start.

      Product information Bottle Design

      Sustainability Programme enviro

      Contiform 3 Pro: a stretch blow-moulder series that

      • has been conceived for outstanding energy- and media-efficiency;
      • covers a wide output spectrum;
      • reliably masters a most varied range of process types – on request in one and the same machine;
      • also produces PET bottles made 100 per cent of recyclate.

      Product information Contiform 3 Pro

      Contiform 3 Speed: a high-speed stretch blow-moulder that

      • achieves a station output of up to 2,750 containers an hour;
      • produces containers for still water, CSDs, and sensitive products;
      • saves another max. 15 per cent in energy and compressed-air consumption compared to the Contiform 3 Pro.

      Product information Contiform 3 Speed

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      Contipure AseptBloc: aseptic filling systems that

      • also produce and fill lightweight containers to optimum standards of quality;
      • boast an uninterrupted running time of up to 186 hours;
      • are extremely painstaking in economising on energy consumption;
      • need just one single sterilisation medium – and use this with particular efficiency.

      Innovation Contipure AseptBloc E

      Product information Contipure AseptBloc DN

      Product information Contipure AseptBloc DA

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      Flip Lid: an innovative packaging system

      • that lastingly links lid and bottle, thus
        • avoiding the littering of our natural environment with plastic;
        • saving valuable resources, since the bottles including their lids are recovered;
      • that is suitable for still beverages;
      • that has been developed jointly by Krones and Aptar;
      • for which commercial applications will presumptively be up and running as from 2020.
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      Secondary packaging
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      Secondary packaging

      When it comes to economising on material, then the paramount focus is often on the beverage containers. But if you take a closer look, you can detect quite a bit of savings potential with the secondary packaging as well.

      The Variopac Pro packer offers several options for perceptibly cutting the consumption of shrink film – by upgrades aimed at reducing

      • film thickness down to 25 μm;
      • the amount of film required to be protruding at each side;
      • the amount of film remaining on the reel.

      Product information Variopac Pro

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      The LitePac

      • is created by wrapping two strapping bands around the containers to be packed – thus saving up to 65 per cent of the material costs incurred for a shrink-pack;
      • consumes up to 90 per cent less energy in production and causes up to 70 per cent less waste than shrink-packs;
      • can be produced in the EvoLite packer at high speeds.
      • The strapping bands are produced from homogeneous raw materials and pose no problems at all during recycling.

      Product information LitePac

      What’s more, Krones’ development crew is working on packaging concepts with alternative materials.

      Used PET bottles
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      Used PET bottles

      In a recently announced co-operation agreement, Krones and Stadler Anlagenbau GmbH are lighting the touchpaper for a strong circular economy. The shared aim is to make the benefits of plastic recycling a reality that is as achievable and profitable as possible for customers all over the world. Firstly, by offering their existing, tried-and-tested solutions for sorting and recycling technology as turnkey complete factories from a single source. And secondly by collaborating on the development of new solutions, processes and technologies to do with the sorting and treatment of waste.

      Stadler Anlagenbau GmbH

      • is one of the market leaders in the sorting systems technology
      • has about 450 employees
      • has sold already more than 350 turnkey lines and 2,000 single components worldwide
      • develops and manufactures technology for sorting all kind of different materials – this includes plastic waste, paper, cartons, household waste and commercial waste.

      Stadler Anlagenbau GmbH

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      Buy, drink – and that’s it? Not by a long way! From a consumer’s viewpoint, the lifespan of a PET bottle may seem short. But the bottles themselves know better. After all, they are made of a material with outstanding recycling properties. And that talent can be utilised again and again.

      So it is all the more surprising that billions of PET bottles per year are still not being re-used – meaning a gigantic raw-material source is simply lying fallow. The Ellen MacArthur Foundation estimates the value of plastic waste unused today at 80 to 120 billion dollars a year. An enormous potential just waiting to be tapped. And that’s not all: recycling plants turn waste into new products – and can thus make a substantial contribution towards reducing the global littering problem.

      The MetaPure recycling systems

      • … recycle PET containers
        • into flakes (on request with direct downstream processing into new products).
        • in different material qualities.
        • right up to food-grade PET in line with FDA, EFSA and other certificates.
      • … recycle containers made of polyolefins (PO)
        • into flakes.
        • in the upcycling approach for high-quality re-use.
      • … are available as individual machines – or in the shape of a complete single-sourced recycling plant.

      Product information MetaPure

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      Fact check: the pros and cons of plastics

      Plastic materials and sustainability – how does that fit together? Our "Plastics fact check" series on the Krones blog provides the answer.

      Doing great things together

      A strong circular economy can only be established with joint forces. For this reason, Krones joins cooperations with selected companies which complement our technologies and enhance our solutions.

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      Allies in recycling

      In order to offer turnkey sorting and recycling systems from a single source, Krones and Stadler Anlagenbau GmbH entered into a cooperation partnership. An additional goal: to significantly advance the development together – from new solutions, processes, and technologies with regard to sortation and processing of waste materials.

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      Cap and container as a single unit

      According to a legislative proposal of the European Commission, caps will have to remain firmly attached to PET bottles, even after opening. In a cooperation with Aptar, Krones packaging experts developed the FlipLid: a novel capping system which permanently attaches the cap to the bottle – and thereby exactly meets the requirement of the European Commission.

      Technique videos and expert interviews

      Sustainable handling of plastic materials – what can Krones do concretely to encourage such an approach? In the video play list, experts have their say and give an insight into our latest technical solutions. Well worth having a look!

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