Sidel supports the United Nations efforts to transform today’s food systems and the company’s actions are aligned with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations. The company’s packaging solutions can in many respects contribute to a more sustainable future.
“Our food systems suffer from multiple problems, such as malnutrition, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and food waste – just to mention a few. With a growing world population, these challenges become even more pronounced,” says Luc Desoutter, Sustainability Officer at Sidel.
The right packaging solutions can play an important role in contributing to better functioning food systems. Food is precious and packaging is essential to protect it. Packaging has several key functions, such as guaranteeing product integrity, contributing to product hygiene and consumer safety, increasing the lifespan of products, and reducing product losses.
With its packaging solutions and know-how, Sidel can in many respects contribute to creating sustainable food systems. Sidel’s actions are aligned with the 17 UN SDGs.
Several of the SDGs are linked to potable water – predominantly SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being and SDG 6 Clean Water and Sanitation, but also SDG 13 Climate Action and SDG 14 Life Below Water.
“Water is a basic requirement of life, and PET is the king medium in the world for packaging water,” says Desoutter. “It brings protection to deliver healthy and safe water to avoid contamination.”
Two billion people in the world have no access to potable water, and many countries have no tap water. Here, bottled water plays a key role. It has a low-carbon footprint. Except for the material used to package water, the transportation and distribution of bottled water represent the greatest proportion of the carbon footprint. As a light packaging material, PET is the best choice to reduce transport-related greenhouse gas emissions.
Sensitive products and aseptic solutions are linked to SDG 2 Zero Hunger, SDG 3 Good Health and Well-being, SDG 12 Responsible Consumption and Production, SDG 13 Climate Action and SDG 14 Life Below Water. One good example is Sidel’s aseptic PET packaging line for milk. It boosts production capacity and sustainability by supplying ultra-high-temperature (UHT) milk products in PET bottles. Another example is the packaging of sensitive products like perishable dairy products and juices. Sensitive products have a much higher carbon footprint themselves than their packaging. For instance, milk has a carbon footprint that is ten times greater than its packaging. With sensitive products, the function of the package is essential to protect against any form of product contamination and changes in taste and smell, caused for example by oxidation, and vitamin losses. Therefore, packaging brings the maximum lifetime to the product, which helps avoid food waste.
Sidel continuously works to support its customers to further reduce their GHG emissions, such as by helping them to convert their packaging to recycled PET (r-PET). r-PET generates 80 per cent less GHG compared to virgin PET and can provide recyclable, recycled, safe and eco-friendly packaging. Sidel is commissioning a pilot-scale r-PET recycling line in Octeville, France. In 2022, new services will be provided in this testing platform along with laboratory capabilities to support customers in the transition from PET to r-PET.
Sidel’s Aseptic Combi Predis™, a blow-fill-seal solution with dry preform and cap sterilisation, is most environmentally responsible. No water is consumed and very few chemicals are used to sterilise the bottle during production. The cleaning of the Sidel equipment provides another opportunity to reduce the quantity of chemical products and energy used for CIP (Cleaning in Place) cycles.
“We consciously act for the sustainable transformation of the packaging industry, providing safe and innovative eco-friendly solutions for a circular economy and a positive impact on our planet. We are committed to the Science Based Targets initiative and thereby reducing our GHG emissions by 30 per cent by 2030,” concludes Desoutter.
The Belgian milk producer Inex has invested in Sidel’s aseptic PET packaging line to help meet a growing demand for locally produced milk. Sidel’s new efficient packaging line will enable Inex to boost production capacity and sustainability by supplying ultra-high-temperature (UHT) milk products in PET bottles. The shift from carton to PET gives Inex the possibility to offer UHT milk packaged in safe and user-friendly PET bottles, with a much lower environmental footprint.