7 initiatives that support the circular economy in Catalonia

24, January, 2022

Packaging Cluster

Seven initiatives that support the circular economy in the Catalan territory are currently being carried out thanks to the financial support of Agència de Residus de Catalunya and the work carried out by the Packaging Cluster to combine seven real needs of the container and packaging sector with seven solutions replicables to other developing industries. 

The first of them, Round Pack, is made up of a consortium of two clusters, the Packaging Cluster and el Foodservice Cluster, together with the Inèdit eco-innovation studio, which works to create and publish in the first quarter of 2022, a sector decalogue with the best practices of sustainable and eco-designed food packaging that allow packers, distributors, restaurateurs or recyclers, to overcome the current challenges and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the circular economy, with a budget of almost €35.000. 

The second approved proposal is textsospack, a study conducted by the Packaging Cluster in conjunction with the cluster of advanced textile materials of Catalunya AEI Tèxtil and the Leitat Technological Center, to collect, analyze and implement good sustainable packaging practices for the advanced materials sector. Participating in the study are companies from both sectors that collaborate to prevent the generation of waste, extend the useful life cycle of the materials used and help decarbonize the productive economy. It has a budget of €33.281. 

Another initiative that is being carried out in parallel and that may be of interest to other ecosystems is the project Ecotherm Box, which works to develop an innovative packaging system based on recyclable cardboard in the operating plant of Saica Pack Amposta, intended to replace the current expanded polystyrene plastic boxes of high-end tuna suppliers Balfego. With the experience of the consulting firm Inèdit, a new box will be created with an eco-design that will allow it to meet the strict logistics requirements of gourmet fish, with a budget of more than €74.000. 

The fourth proposal that we explain to you on this occasion is the initiative of reprint of tetrabrik coils Company IFLEX along with the Packaging clusterr in the communication part. The project will modify the rotary machine of the production system to reprint the tetrabrik containers and make small variations to take advantage of the material used, such as reprints on the barcode, the ingredients or the weight, among other elements. With this proposal, which has a budget of €26.294, it will be possible to reuse obsolete coils and not waste product by generating unnecessary waste. 

With a budget of more than €100.000, the project SoFlex, with the IRTA Technology Center, the Packaging Cluster and the companies Enplater, Monells and Multivac, intends to develop thermoformable flexible monomaterial containers that can be recyclable for the vacuum preservation of sausages. The application of these materials will allow their recovery in the recycling plants as they become waste as they are monomaterials, thus closing the circle. 

The sixth proposal, with a budget similar to the previous one, has the participation of the company Delafruyt, a member of the Packaging Cluster, and the Technological Center Leitat, Mono-material pouch for Food products. The objective of the project is to carry out the necessary studies to implement mono-material pouch solutions in the food industry, specifically in the packaging of pasteurized fruit juices and purées, which is where Delafruit specializes. 

To finish, we present Eco Plastic Pallet Box, a proposal for the introduction of a new pallet product made from recycled material in the catalog of Inka Pallet, with the knowledge of the design agency oiko. A complete sustainable solution is being developed for the point of sale for a set of mixed recycled plastic and cardboard pallets, ideal for the agri-food sector and large distribution, with a budget of more than €50.000. 

With these ideas, the Packaging Cluster has managed to unite 16 key agents: 3 Catalan clusters, 3 technology centres, 2 eco-design studios, 5 production companies and 3 packers; to transform the yt sector togethermove towards a model that is sustainable in all its processes. 

“Thanks to the pioneering policy of the Generalitat de Catalunya waste canon, the Catalan productive sectors opt for an important boost to help move their products and services towards the circular economy. From the Packaging Cluster we have been working with this aid for more than 5 years, connecting ideas from projects and companies, to promote sustainable innovation in our sector”, as stated by Carlos Jiménez, Head of Circular Economy and Sustainable Innovation of the Packaging Cluster. 

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