Catalonia stands as a hub for the promotion of the circular economy
- In the last call for grants from the Agència de Residus de Catalunya, to promote the circular economy, the Packaging Cluster managed to draw 7 initiatives out of the 8 proposals
- The 16 changemakers involved will be in charge of generating good practices that can be replicated in other territories outside of Catalonia
Seven initiatives that support the circular economy in the Catalan territory are currently being carried out thanks to the financial support of Agència de Residus de Catalunya, and the work carried out by the Packaging Cluster to bring together 7 real needs of the packaging sector, with 7 replicable solutions to other developing industries.
The first of them, Circular Pack, is made up of a consortium of two clusters, the Packaging Cluster and the Foodservice Cluster, together with the eco-innovation study Inèdit, which are working to create and publish a decalogue in the first quarter of 2022 sector with the best practices of sustainable and eco-designed food packaging that allow packers, distributors, restaurateurs or recyclers, to overcome current challenges and take advantage of the opportunities offered by the circular economy, with a budget of almost € 35,000.
The second approved proposal is Texsospack, a study carried out by the Packaging Cluster in conjunction with the cluster of advanced textile materials of Catalonia AEI Tèxtil and the Leitat Technological Center, to collect, analyze and implement good sustainable packaging practices for the sector of advanced materials. Companies from both sectors that collaborate to prevent the generation of waste, extend the useful life cycle of the materials used and help decarbonize the productive economy participate in the study. It has a budget of € 33,281.
Another of the initiatives that are running in parallel and that may be of interest to other ecosystems is the Ecotherm Box project, which is working to develop an innovative packaging system based on recyclable cardboard in the Saica Pack Amposta operating plant, intended to replace current expanded polystyrene plastic boxes from high-end tuna suppliers Balfegó. With the experience of the consulting firm Inèdit, a new box will be created with an eco-design that will allow it to meet the strict requirements of gourmet fish logistics, with a budget of more than € 74,000.
The fourth proposal is the reprint initiative of tetrabrik reels of the IFLEX company together with the Packaging Cluster in the communication part. The project will modify the rotary machine of the production system to reprint the tetrabrik packaging and make small variations to take advantage of the material used, such as reprints on the bar code, ingredients or weight, among other elements. With this proposal, which has a budget of € 26,294, it will be possible to reuse obsolete coils and not waste product generating unnecessary waste.
With a budget of more than € 100,000, the SoFlex project, with the IRTA Technology Center, the Packaging Cluster and the Enplater, Monells and Multivac companies, aims to develop flexible thermoformable monomaterial packaging that can be recyclable for vacuum preservation of sausages. The application of these materials will allow their recovery in recycling plants as they become waste as they are monomaterials, thus closing the circle.
The sixth proposal, with a budget similar to the previous one, has the participation of the Delafruit company, a member of the Packaging Cluster, and the Leitat Technology Center, Mono-material pouch for Food products. The objective of the project is to carry out the necessary studies to implement monomaterial pouch solutions in the food industry, specifically in the packaging of pasteurized fruit juices and purees, which is where Delafruit is specialized.
To finish, we present Eco Plastic PaletBox, a proposal for the introduction of a new pallet product made with recycled material in the Inka Palet catalog, with the knowledge of the Oiko design agency. A complete sustainable solution is being developed for the point of sale for a set of mixed recycled plastic and cardboard pallets, ideal for the agri-food sector and large distribution, with a budget of more than € 50,000.
With these ideas, the Packaging Cluster has managed to unite 16 key agents: 3 Catalan clusters, 3 technology centers, 2 eco-design studios, 5 production companies and 3 packers; to transform the sector together and move towards a model that is sustainable in all its processes.
"Thanks to the pioneering waste canon policy of the Generalitat of Catalonia, the Catalan productive sectors are opting for an important boost to help move their products and services towards the circular economy. From the Packaging Cluster we have been working with this aid for more than 5 years, connecting ideas of projects and companies, to promote sustainable innovation in our sector", as stated by Carlos Jiménez, Responsible for Circular Economy and Sustainable Innovation of the Packaging Cluster.