SIEGBURG, Germany — Siegwerk, a leading provider of printing inks for packaging applications and labels, presented its newest development project as part of the recycling initiative of Werner & Mertz at this year’s international PLMA trade show, the “World of Private Label,” in Amsterdam. Together with the other partners of the recycling initiative — Mondi, Der Grüne Punkt, and ALPLA — Siegwerk used this trade show as a way to demonstrate the possibilities of a more effective recycling system and visualize mutual engagement in the development of sustainable and recyclable packaging solutions in more detail.

With its partners, Werner & Mertz pursues the goal of developing sustainable material cycles and using material sourced from the “recycling bin” to do so. “The only way to prevent plastic packaging from ending up as waste in the ocean is to recycle it in a high-quality manner after use,” explained Reinhard Schneider, Managing Owner of Werner & Mertz. At the PLMA, the partners showed the entire cycle of a PET and HDPE bottle made of recyclable material - from plastic waste collection in the recycling bin to recycled plastics processing to new packaging and finally to the product on the shelves.

Siegwerk has worked closely with Werner & Mertz since 2016 to promote the development of sustainable packaging as part of a recycling economy by means of innovative ink solutions. In its first cooperative project, Siegwerk developed a sustainable, low-migration UV offset ink series for printing Werner & Mertz labels. In 2017, Sicura Litho NutriEco was the first printing ink to be awarded the gold status of the Cradle to Cradle Material Health Certification, which not only certifies that the printed ink layer is harmless to people and the environment, but also that the printed product packaging can be safely recycled in the currently established material cycles. “As we know today, printing inks play an essential role when recycling plastic packaging. We are very proud to support Werner & Mertz, and the recyclate initiative in particular, with know-how and expertise in ink development. Together we can close another gap in the overall development of sustainable packaging using the Cradle to Cradle® principle,” said Dr. Thomas Boucoiran, Global Head Brand Owner Collaboration at Siegwerk. With the cooperative project presented at the PLMA, the focus is now on developing another sustainable printing ink according to the Cradle to Cradle principle. This time, the ink will be used for a new, completely recyclable stand-up bag, which was developed as part of the recyclate initiative in cooperation with Mondi, a leading global packaging and paper company, using the Design for Recycling approach.

The increasing complexity of modern packaging innovations makes cooperation within the entire value-creation chain, including waste management, indispensable in order to ensure the sustainability and recyclability of new packaging. Initiatives like the initiative are thus essential for success. The basic premise is to define the end-of-life scenario of a given packaging and then develop it based on the Design for Recycling approach. “The Cradle to Cradle principle is a very convincing concept here, and it also goes hand-in-hand with the concept of a recycling economy,” added Boucoiran. “Our support of the recyclate initiative is merely one building block in the greater whole of our commitment to optimize packaging for the recycling economy, thus helping to actively shape the future of packaging with innovative and sustainable ink solutions. It is important that we, as a printing ink manufacturer, are included early in such packaging projects.” As one of the leading printing ink manufacturers, Siegwerk places great value on product safety and works hard to constantly improve on the ecological footprint of its printing inks while also making sure the inks continue to perform well.

By combining the best ink performance, maximum product safety, and continuous guidance, the company makes every effort to help printers and brand manufacturers adapt their own innovative and sustainable projects with state-of-the-art ink solutions precisely tailored to their individual requirements.