Coexpan Chile and Emsur Argentina, both of which are owned by Spanish plastic-and-paper packaging company Grupo Lantero, developed a removable label for yogurt pots for Nestlé Chile’s Batido brand.
The label has a releasing layer that allows it to be fully removed without tearing the paper. “It is easier to separate it from the container, thus contributing to the recyclability of plastics,” said the companies in a statement.
The label is available in a monolayer or duplex and can be used for products such as yogurts, desserts or beverages.
Nestlé pledged last year to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
A spokesperson for Coexpan-Emsur said the entire value chain was responsible for moving the circular economy forward.
“We are working with all agents across the chain: raw materials, machinery manufacturers, brands, associations, investigation centers, and public and private institutions,” she told FoodNavigator-LATAM.
Recycling facilities in many Chilean cities are lacking and Nestle said it worked with recycling consulting firm TriCiclos, which has equipped 39 recycling sites in Chile with waste disposal containers specifically for the Batido pots.
Chile's plastic bag ban
Chile made headlines in February 2018, however, when it became the first in Latin America to ban single-use plastic bags in supermarkets and large retailers. In 2020, start-ups and small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) will also have to comply with the ban. (Food packaging is exempt).
A national survey conducted in 2017 and 2018 found that 95% of Chileans questioned were in favor of the ban, with only 4% against.
According to the Ministry of the Environment website ChaoBolsasPlastics (Goodbye plastic bags), there is no standardized scheme in Chile that certifies biodegradability.
“Current plastic bags known as ‘biodegradable’ require composting processes in municipal or industrial composting plants, so, without the right conditions, a ‘biodegradable plastic bag’ could have the same impact that a non-biodegradable one in the environment,” it said.
Another problem can be plastic bags that are wrongly labeled as biodegradable, said the Coexpan-Emsur spokesperson.
“Biodegradable plastics are defined as materials [whose] end-of-life products, with help of microorganisms, are CO2, water and biomass, so theoretically there should be no microplastics.
“Many times, materials are wrongly defined as biodegradable, while they are only degradable - so polymers are decomposing into shorter chains polymers or oligomers causing microplastics creation.
“But we do believe that recycling is the key solution to face the packaging industry’s major challenges by promoting collection, sorting and recycling systems that maximize the revaluation of plastics. All members across the value chain are involved in order to make it happen.”