Amcor develops world-first recyclable retort flexible packagingOctober 15, 2020
A breakthrough in barrier technology will allow recycling of high-performance packaging for consumer products such as ready-meals, pre-cooked soups, baby foods, and wet pet food, further improving the environmental footprint of packaging up to 60%*.
Zurich, Switzerland – Amcor, a global leader in packaging, today announced the world’s first recyclable flexible retort pouch. The technical breakthrough, which many considered impossible, follows years of dedicated research and investment.
The product, which uses Amcor’s AmLite HeatFlex Recyclable solution, has the potential to be used in a variety of retort applications where products with a long shelf life require high-barrier, high-heat resistant packaging.
“The technology to solve the problem of retort recyclability simply did not exist,” says Amcor’s Chief Commercial Officer Peter Konieczny. “Amcor’s innovation represents a breakthrough for brand owners looking to reach their sustainability ambitions. Brands will be able to stand out and meet consumers’ growing demand for more sustainable products by replacing older formats with the latest in cutting-edge packaging technology.”
Creating a recyclable version was considered such a difficult challenge because it added another requirement to packaging already satisfying very high functional needs: withstanding heat-sterilization, blocking oxygen and bacteria, keeping food safe without refrigeration and ensuring a long shelf life. Flexible retort packaging, a modern alternative to metal cans, can improve the carbon footprint of hundreds of consumer products thanks to its light weight, resource efficiency, ease of transportation and minimization of food waste.
The new pouch has been independently tested by cyclos-HTP and confirmed to be recyclable. Today, it fits collection systems in Germany, Austria, Italy, Norway and the Netherlands, and the list of countries is expected to grow, with projects underway in more nations to expand their plastics recycling streams.
The breakthrough innovation underscores the company’s unique capabilities and long-term commitment to more sustainable packaging solutions. The company is on the path to fulfilling its pledge to develop all of its packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2025.