How mono-material packaging improves sustainability in FMCG industries?

The packaging industry faces significant challenges in achieving sustainability goals while meeting consumer needs and regulatory requirements. One effective solution that is gaining momentum is mono-material packaging.

As humanity’s impact on the environment becomes clear, businesses are under increasing stress to achieve a circular economy. With momentum building towards the 2025 sustainable packaging goals, innovative packaging solutions are gaining currency among manufacturers and brand owners. 

Rethinking flexible packaging


Thus far, flexible plastic packaging has been made from complex, multi-material materials as companies have prioritised function, versatility and cost. Up until recently, recyclability has rarely been a consideration in the design of flexible packaging. 

It is now evident that recycling multi-material structures can be both difficult and time-consuming. In order to obtain high-quality recycled products, such packages must be separated into their constituent elements so that each layer can follow its own recycling processes. 


Bridging the circularity gap


Innovative recyclable solutions such as mono-material solutions could be the way forward, thanks to new developments that deliver some of the benefits of traditional multi-material coverings. 

Mono-materials offer a crucial solution to bridging the circularity gap in the flexible packaging sector. Since they are easier to recycle than multi-material, multi-layer packaging, less material ends up in landfills. 


Meeting the challenges of recyclability with mono-materials


The process is simpler with mono-material solutions. Since mono-material packages are composed of a single material or fibre, the recycling process is quicker and easier than other products made of multiple plastics or mixed with other materials such as cardboard or glass. Similarly, less energy is needed to separate the various constituent materials. The increased efficiency in recycling mono-materials also delivers time and cost benefits. 

Consequently, the industry has identified a need to evaluate the functional requirements of flexible packaging. To achieve true circularity, brand owners may need to go back to the drawing board, to redesign existing multi-material solutions into recyclable mono-material packages. 

In conclusion, the packaging industry is facing a crucial challenge of balancing sustainability, consumer needs, and regulatory requirements. One promising solution that is gaining traction is mono-material packaging. To further explore this concept and discover how it enhances sustainability in the FMCG industries, we are providing a downloadable overview of widely used mono materials. This overview will outline the benefits, characteristics, and industrial applications of these materials, offering options to reimagine packaging solutions. 
ARTICLE BY
Gustavo Morais
Gustavo Morais

Business Specialist, Advanced Materials
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Marta Clavero
Marta Clavero

Product Manager Flex Pack Iberia & BG Packaging Expert Team Leader, Advanced Materials
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Download the material list for types of mono-material solutions

Fast facts

Mono-material packaging, composed of a single material or fiber, offers a more sustainable solution for the FMCG industry. With simpler and more efficient recycling processes, less material ends up in landfills, thereby boosting overall sustainability.