Environmental responsibility – changes in legal regulations relating to waste management – case study Alupol Packaging S.A.

A cornerstone of the Grupa Kęty S.A. Group’s Corporate Social Responsibility Policy is caring for the natural environment. The Group’s mission clearly indicates its attitude to environmental issues:

For the future…
“ensuring the development of employees,
effective use of natural resources, safety,
environmental protection, and long-term economic value”.

Since 2016 the company has been reporting on 12 environmental indicators – GRI G4: EN1, EN2, EN3, EN8, EN10, EN15, EN21, EN22, EN23, EN29, EN31, and EN34 – which pertain most to a company’s activities and impact on the environment. These indicators relate to aspects and areas of the environment on which particular companies may have a significant impact, such as air, water, effluent, waste, resources and materials, fuel and energy consumption and degree of compliance with regulations.
As well as giving attention to its manufacturing processes and environmental impact, the Grupa Kęty S.A. Group organises highly informative educational activities fostering pro-environmental behaviour.

Major changes in legal regulations relating to waste management – case study Alupol Packaging S.A. (a company within the Grupa Kęty S.A Group.)

In May 2018, the EU’s Council adopted new rules relating to waste management. The documentation package establishes new rules for waste management and introduces by law recycling targets for all EU member states. The new rules also protect the natural environment and citizens’ health. Member states will gradually increase the extent of waste recycled in order to achieve the goal of reusing the recycled materials in the European economy. The new rulings will thus support the switch to a circular economy in which waste will gradually become a resource and in which new economic opportunities will arise.
The aim of the “European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy” is to achieve full recyclability of packaging by the year 2030. Manufacturers will be responsible for managing the waste stage of their products and bear the financial costs.

Following publication of this strategy, Europe’s largest packaging clients made a commitment by the end of 2025 to use only flexible packaging that is recyclable. This packaging will be made from homogeneous materials which can be reused in the economy. In the case of the food industry, laminates will have a structure based on polypropylene and polyethylene film. These decisions fully match the expectations of Alupol Packaging’s Management Board who back in 2014 decided to invest heavily in the processing of polypropylenes. Earlier investments in blowout lines also consolidated the development of polyethylene processing technologies. Today Alupol Packaging not only draws great satisfaction but also very tangible benefits from its shrewd investment decisions.

Finally, it is worth underlining that the packaging industry has for a long time taken steps to reduce the adverse impact of packaging on the natural environment. The largest customers of flexible packaging have been intensively introducing various development scenarios. The types of changes being made aim, for example, to eliminate aluminium foil, increase the amount of environmental paper used in the laminate structure, produce thinner laminates and change opaque packaging to transparent packaging. These projects were implemented both for pro-environmental reasons and to reduce packaging costs. EU policy now unambiguously sets out the principles for technological development for the next dozen years or so.

The EU regulations determine the direction changes will take and oblige producers to use recyclable or reusable packaging and improve waste management.

Thanks to wise investment decisions the EU policy on plastics is to Alupol Packaging’s advantage. For 18 years we have been specialising in the production of PE films and for the past two years we have been one of the biggest producers of BOPP polypropylene film. On the assumption therefore that laminate structures based on polyolefins will be recyclable, Alupol will be promoting laminates based on its own PE, HBFTM and BOPP films.