The market for PVC-free seals – a success story

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As a pioneer in the manufacture of PVC-free sealing compounds for metal vacuum seals and in collaboration with Feinkost Dittmann and Pano Verschluss, Actega DS set something in motion nine years ago in the form of PROVALIN which is meanwhile regarded as a success story in terms of sustainability.

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Pano now exclusively manufactures PVC-free seals and supplies more than 200 customers in various sectors such as specialty foods, meat, fish, milk, honey, jam, fruit, and vegetables. Exports account for approx. 30 percent.

Other manufacturers of seals have also invested in PVC-free technology with the result that the available capacities are continuing to grow worldwide. A further increase of around 30 percent to approx. five billion Twist-Off seals is anticipated by 2021.

Of the 16 billion Twist-Off seals currently used in the EU, 15 percent are now PVC-free – with an annual growth of approx. 30 percent. Numerous high-performance plants have been installed which are capable of covering the growing demand in Europe. Intensive investments are also being made in PVC-free technology in Asia. For example, chinese manufacturers as Huapeng and Laoganma are in the process of driving full conversion.

PROVALIN was developed on the basis of corresponding EU specifications (EU 10/2011 and PIM). Where the original focus was on food with fatty contents as they leach out the plasticizers usually contained in PVC sealing compounds and allow them to migrate into food, fillers of organic products attaching particular importance to an ecological overall package changed over to PVC-free at an early stage. Meanwhile, the issue has far surpassed the organic sector and can now be found in practically all areas of food.

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Sustainability is increasingly becoming a key topic. More and more, consumers are demanding safe and sustainable packaging and, according to a study, are also willing to pay more for it. Climate- and environmentally-friendly action and a conscious decision in favor of sustainable packaging are continuing to gain in importance as well as form decisive purchasing criteria. Environmentally-polluting manufacturing and disposal problems are to be minimized in the production of packaging materials and critical components which could migrate from them to food or other filled goods are to be eliminated. After all, packaging is supposed to protect food, preserve it, present it in an appetizing manner, and create space for information and a recognition value among consumers.

Sustainability means that the current generation must be able to satisfy its needs in such a way that subsequent generations are also able to satisfy theirs. Actega DS is committed to this and consistently implements measures for conserving resources and avoiding pollutant waste. For example, for years we have been relying on sealing compounds for food and beverage packaging which are free of PVC and plasticizers as chlorinated compounds have a negative impact on the environment during production and waste disposal. Approx. 38 percent CO2 emissions are saved in the production of a Twist-Off seal with PROVALIN. While products with PVC are not approved for certification from the start, it achieves Gold status in a Material Health Level assessment of the ingredients used in accordance with cradle-to-cradle criteria.

The retail trade and the food industry today are increasingly relying on PVC-free seals and have even manifested this aim in their sustainability goals. In fact, PVC is banned entirely in packaging by some of the major branded companies and associations, including Bio-Suisse, the umbrella association of Swiss organic producers. Numerous own retail brands give preference to PVC-free seals in an effort to offer consumers safe and sustainable added value. They can be found in jam from Aldi, baby food from DM and Rossmann, and Pesto from Edeka, to name but a few.

This growing sensitization for PVC-free products has enabled the PROVALIN family to grow to include a wide variety of products for all areas of application available on the market. This also applies for the highly-sensitive area of baby food where primarily press-on, twist-off seals are used. The only PVC-free solution is offered here in the form of ACTGreen PROVALIN, recognizable by the green ring in the seal.

Conclusion: PROVALIN offers sustainable added value.