Solutions for the growing demand of sustainable flexible packaging

Sustainability is not a term of the future, but of the present. It is here to stay, to be part of industry, of society, and of the new generations that are waiting their turn, and we must all be attentive to understanding in what way we can, and should, be part of the process of change 

Any new production system that is developed will integrate the environment as the only possible technological way; and any existing production system nowadays must evolve and adapt its methods to more sustainable scales, offering alternatives that can be implemented globally in the short term, and that help to achieve environmental objectives.

With regard to the flexible packaging industry, production must also evolve, taking into account the growing demand for sustainable packaging. There are many factors that affect us and we can improve, but the first of these should be a resounding determination for a change of business mentality that leans in the direction of transparency and the rigorous information-like model for change.

Environment as part of Core Business

Comexi has recently initiated a path which will be a guide for other industry companies; the completion of the first Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) and the first Environmental Product Declaration (DAP) of a flexographic printing machine, the Comexi F2, integrating for the first time environmental impact studies in its core business.

This pioneering initiative aims to know and communicate at all times the environmental impacts throughout the value chain of the manufacture of a flexographic printing product. Through the implementation of Ecodesign in their products, a circular economy strategy is established to provide its customers with products that are respectful of the environment throughout their life cycle.

An LCA is the only tool that allows us to quantify the environmental impacts associated with all the stages of a product’s life cycle. A DAP is a type III ecolabel where the impact on the environment of a product’s life cycle or service is quantified and communicated strictly following international standards and verified by an independent third party, thus ensuring its credibility.

Comexi Offset CI8: Efficiency contributes to sustainability

Another step forward to achieving a more efficient industry in terms of sustainability is the development of new flexographic presses that bring together definitive solutions and technologies more respectful towards the environment, contributing to sustainability.

The revolutionary Comexi Offset CI8 operates completely solvent free. We do not even need the 3 to 5% Iso Propyl Alcohol in the dampening water of offset printing for printing with the Comexi Offset CI8, that offers high print quality and fast job changes, making it the most suitable press for short and medium length jobs, which is fast becoming the standard in today’s flexible packaging market. Reduction of set-up waste and obsolete stock are further sustainable advantages of the press.

Comexi’s Offset CI8 press is equipped with an EB ink curing system as standard. It is the perfect solution for matching exact production volumes to JIT demand from the market, avoiding obsolete stock, allowing short runs and keeping all options open for frequent design changes or substrate and packaging structure changes.

The EB curing system is robust and colour blind, turning the polymeric inks from fluid into a solid state in a fraction of a second. Once cured the electron beam curable inks match very well with the trend in lamination that is moving towards an increased use of solvent free adhesives.

An additional advantage and contribution to sustainable printing is the Comexi CI8 suitability to work with 7 colour process, also known as extended colour gamut (ECG), which reduces dramatically ink stock and the risk of obsolete inks. A minimum of colour, reading ink, changes are required when printing with ECG. Overall this lessens the need for cleaning, so less consumption of washing liquids and less ink waste. EB inks do not dry or cure in the roller train and can even be left over the weekend. This contributes directly to a reduction in ink consumption and ink waste.

The aluminium print form used for offset has the least environmental due to requires only a minimum amount of energy and chemistry for imaging and processing.

Comexi has more sustainable solutions in terms of flexographic printing, as well as solventless lamination applications. The evolution of the solventless (SL) adhesives seems to have no limit, from simple low added value structures to the most advanced final products. The high-performance SL adhesives are already a reality for many applications.

In flexo Comexi has a complete solution: the Comexi F2, the hybrid machine fully adapted to print Solvent base inks, Water base inks and EB curable links. You can start printing today with SB inks and start testing the different technologies until you find which one suits your needs best