Amcor, a global leader in packaging, in collaboration with Nestlé, today (20th September) launched the world’s first recyclable flexible retort pouch. The new high barrier pouch, using Amcor’s AmLite HeatFlex Recyclable solution, will first appear in stores in the Netherlands in October 2020.
Amcor and Nestlé partnered to overcome one of the largest challenges facing the industry – the inability to recycle retort flexible packaging – and have achieved a technical breakthrough which underscores both companies’ long-term commitment to more sustainable packaging solutions. The partners collaborated during the product development process, testing for heat resistance, machine performance, shelf-life and recyclability in the real world.
“Amcor and Nestlé together have been able to create a unique solution that for years was thought impossible,” says Michael Zacka, President Amcor Flexibles EMEA, “This high-barrier, high-heat resistant, packaging can be easily recycled within plastic recycling streams already existing in several European countries.”
Flexible retort packaging is a modern alternative to metal cans, and it can improve the carbon footprint of hundreds of consumer products thanks to its light weight, resource efficiency, ease of transportation and by minimizing food waste. Adding recyclability to its list of properties will further improve the environmental footprint of this packaging solution, which has a reduced carbon footprint of up to 60%.*
The new pouch meets the packaging guidelines for a circular economy recently published by the CEFLEX Consortium. Project Coordinator and Workstream Consultant for CEFLEX, Graham Houlder, says: “This is a great example of how – through innovation – companies can solve even the biggest challenges to recyclability. Recyclable retort packaging is a revolutionary advance and will have a huge impact.”
The breakthrough innovation underscores Amcor’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.
*Carbon footprint comparison based on Amcor’s ASSET lifecycle assessment system, certified by the Carbon Trust. Maximum carbon footprint reduction of 60% assumes 100% recycling. Comparison based on standard retort packaging using a PET/Aluminium foil/PP pouch, versus the new AmLite HeatFlex Recyclable OPP/AmLite barrier/PP pouch.