The future of e-commerce packaging is clearly sustainable. Yet defining sustainability is not always easy.
Over the last year Hugo Beck, which has been providing customised film packaging solutions for more than 65 years, has experienced an enormous change in demand for alternative packaging. While the topics of recyclability, carbon footprint, biodegradability and the circular economy of packaging are not new, the urgency and awareness in the industry to become active, beyond mere talking, has increased significantly.
In this context, it is almost impossible to have an objective discussion in relation to the use of plastics in general, with plastic or film packaging under particularly heavy attack within the media. This is driving a great amount of uncertainty among customers, driven by the fact that packaging is often now perceived only in a negative light by consumers, yet the fact is that, in the case of most products, packaging is essential and cannot simply be removed.
It is also a growing concern that some companies are looking to push through new plastic-free or so-called ‘green’ packaging to simply give the perception of sustainability, while in reality it may have an even greater impact on the environment, particularly when a true lifecycle analysis is taken. Making the move away from easily recyclable film packaging in favour of paper packaging – or even doing without packaging – should therefore be undertaken only when the sustainability benefit has been well thought out.
The answer for packaging sustainability for many companies, particularly in the demanding e-commerce sector, is to stay flexible; and Hugo Beck’s range of e-commerce machines, exemplify this approach.
Packaging machines such as the paper X hybrid version offer the unique capability to pack products in either paper or plastic film, delivering the flexibility and choice in sustainable packaging styles and substrates – all from one machine.
Whether dealing with the direct dispatch of individual goods, packing groups of products, or meeting the complex requirements of returned goods packaging; the paper E-Com flex paper packaging solution ensures companies are perfectly equipped to meet the needs of sustainable e-commerce packaging by switching to paper based packaging.
The bag size is automatically adapted to the dimensions of the product, minimising packaging waste, and both uncoated and coated paper can be used for producing bags with two glued or sewn sides plus a top overlap.
For those who are looking to pack only with film, the flexo 700 E-Com machine packs e-commerce goods to the highest standards, minimising film use and maximising results both with and without shrinking of the film bags. Speed and flexibility are key to the design of both machines, with up to 1500 cycles per hour available.
Connectable to customer’s ERP or control systems all machines can also be easily integrated within a production line. Additional options include adding an easy-opening perforation to the packaging as well as inserting a double-sided adhesive tape for resealing a bag for returns. An integrated scanner with a controller for product detection and creation of a shipping label can also be included on the line for additional capability.
The e-commerce sector must cope with a wide variety of packaging styles. This, alongside the need to wrap a wide range of products quickly and sustainably, means Hugo Beck’s new machines are ideal for delivering perfect packaging results at high speeds and across a choice of paper or film packaging substrates. And through this delivering the sustainability and choice brands, retailers and consumers demand from their e-commerce packaging solutions.