Saica Flex has signposted a desire to develop more functional paper flexible packaging products and reduce plastic use, as the company looks to uphold its ambition of making packaging more environmentally friendly.

One of Saica Flex’s goals is to achieve 100% of its products designed for recycling (DFR) by 2025, showing a commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. DFR packaging is specifically engineered to be easily recyclable, reducing waste and promoting a circular economy.

The company has been committed to making a difference in the flexible packaging industry since it was founded 80 years ago, and its values are engrained in the company’s ‘DNA’, according to Miguel Ángel Dora Lladó, director general of Saica Flex.

Mr Lladó commented that not all packaging can be purely paper. Plastic still bestows vital properties for certain applications, but adapting paper to provide some of these properties is part of the plan.

‘What we are trying to do is make sure paper is in the right way for food contact and other needs,’ he said. ‘Sometimes plastic is needed but what we try and do is utilise it in a sustainable way. The challenge we need to work on is getting all aspects of different materials into one material – which is paper. Our main aim is to make sure any packaging we put into the market is ready to be recycled. That’s what we are committed to.’

This shift towards sustainable paper packaging plays to Saica Flex’s strengths, as Mr Lladó hints in saying, ‘Our business has always been circular. We collect paper, through our waste management division; that paper is recycled by our paper mills. After that we create corrugated packaging that goes to our customers. We then collect it again and the process repeats itself.

‘So, we saw an opportunity in flexible packaging, and we want to replicate the process with differences in the flexible packaging industry. As we know much about paper, that is why we are going in this direction.’

Mr Lladó also expressed a vision for the company that adheres to market needs and wants around sustainability.

He said: ‘To change the view on sustainability from outside the industry, we will change to paper. As mentioned, it is a circular material that can be recycled and used again. We work on this because we have the knowledge, development, and the people to do so. We are committed to a more sustainable option for packaging. Because of this, by 2025 we want to have 15% of our packaging products as paper.’