Throughout the last few years, the awareness of the importance to control pollution in connection with the use of plastic and chemicals has risen in the industrialized society all around the world and also in our segment of market.

Everyone talks about sustainability while more and more it touches the world of film lamination, packaging, in short, our work and that of our customers.
More sustainable packaging, less plastic or use of biodegradable and compostable plastic, inks for direct and indirect contact with food, paper and cardboard that can replace plastic. Reduction of energy consumption. These are the needs and the targets.

There is no point in blaming plastic, which is a useful material, while human responsibility should be determined in the wrong use and abuse, in the mode of disposal of the plastic and we should all change bad habits to repair the damages done to Earth.

As a machine manufacturer we have the responsibility to supply products that fit for the intended purpose in the respect of people and environment. We have always invested to continually raise the quality standards of print finishing and to anticipate customer needs, researching materials and processes to increase production efficiency and to reduce waste.

For years now, special attention has been added to environmental problems, with a green perspective that has led us to test and encourage the use of new films which have been developed with the purpose to minimize the environmental impact of film lamination and film laminated packaging.

These films can be with accellerated biodegradability and decompostable such as cellulose acetate, Oxo-Bio and PLA.
CELLULOSE ACETATE For wet lamination, cellulose acetate is one perfect solution, as it is biodegradable, compostable and breathable (anti-fog effect).
This film is made from PEFC certified wood pulp and noble cotton waste, natural and renewable raw materials.
Cellulose acetate is also suitable for direct contact with food.
The main applications are the classic lamination of paper and cardboard, but also window lamination and labels.

It is available in gloss, matte and also coloured for special sophisticated application in the luxury packaging (such as folding carton boxes for parfums, cosmetics, spirits, etc.).
OXO-BIO POLYPROPYLENE The Oxo-Bio is a polypropylene that in short times decomposes transforming into water, methane , CO2 and biomass. Its faster biodegradability is possible thanks to the addition of an additive to polypropylene which accelerates the breakdown of the chemical bonds between the molecules. In this way the film can be virtuously disposed, because the organisms present in nature (bacteria, mushrooms, algae) are able to "digest" the polymers in the chain, decomposed by the polymers after their disposal.
The polymers that accelerate the rate of degradation leave no polluting residues and their action is activated only in the particular conditions of a disposal environment.

The Oxo-Bio is available both in the wet and thermal version.

PLA POLYLACTIC Another viable alternative for wet lamination is represented by PLA, polylactic acid.
Polylactic acid (PLA) is a transparent thermoplastic polymer derived from CORN, PEEL OF THE POTATO AND NATURAL SUGAR.
PLA is produced from 100% renewable resources annually and with zero environmental impact, it is 100% biodegradable and compostable.
Belonging to the family of aliphatic polyesters, with properties similar to polyester and PET, it is a transparent, bright, mechanically resistant and rigid polymer.
PLA has excellent resistance to oils and fats and to numerous chemical agents, offers a good barrier to aromas and oxygen, while a low barrier to water vapor.

All these ecological films can be used in a standard way on standard film laminating machines.

NB: the list of aforementioned films represents only an example of the alternatives on the market, but does not want to be an exhaustive list as this is a field in continuous development and it is therefore recommended to contact the suppliers of films for a complete and punctual offer of the films available. Also, the indicated features of the films have been extracted from information put into the internet by the various films suppliers, so we are not responsible for any inaccuracies.

As these ecological films are suitable for contact with food they open up new possibilities of use also in the food sector, offering themselves as a valid and better alternative to disposable plastic products (plates etc.) that will be banned in the short future, as known, by the European legislation.
There will, therefore, be a reduction in plastic products and packaging in favor of an increase in paper products and packaging, as also required by the EU Green Deal.

Film lamination is fundamental for giving paper packaging protective and resistance function, in addition to the inevitable added value from an aesthetic, visual and tactile point of view.
Therefore, it is possible to continue to laminate and even to widen the fields of application, with conscience and professionality.

To dispel concerns and debates about the future of lamination, we can therefore say that not only film lamination DOES have a future, but that it is an even better future, becoming eco-sustainable!

There is also another option to film lamination, which consists in the METAL TRANSFER process: that is, to transfer only the effect of metallization to the sheet, without the film being present. In fact, the film on which the metallization is located will then be recovered and reused, while only the metal particles will remain on the sheet.

New machines have been developed to carry out metal transfer in an industrial way and with a quality results. Three different models in 3 widths with configurations reel-to-reel or reel-to-sheet. For more information contact Mrs. Carzaniga:

But our responsibility as machine manufacturer is not limited to the recommendations on ecological films.

To minimize the environmental impact of print finishing, Ecosystem has been engaged for many years already in designing and manufacturing machinery that:
  • minimize the energy consuption through air recirculation, heat recovery, inverters,
  • coating units capable to coat as minimum adhesive as possible,
  • reduce wastes,
  • allow the use of biodegradable inks and varnishes,
  • allow the absense of plates, screens, chemicals and the reduction of noise.
The European paper industry has already achieved the decoupling between carbon emissions and economic growth, reducing carbon emissions by 27% from 2005 to today, with an increase in the volumes produced and demonstrating the environmental compatibility of its products thanks to raw materials certificates and recycling performance (as informed by CEPI, the Confederation of European Paper Industries).

To achieve the target of a carbon neutral Europe by 2050, more and more space is needed to be made for circular and climate neutral products such as wood-based products in our daily lives and for that which concerns our sector, read cellulose fiber based packaging.
The contribution of all members of the sector will therefore be necessary: from paper and cardboard producers, to suppliers of materials and technology for converting (and here we are a party), collection, selection and recycling of waste.

Ecosystem Costruzioni S.p.a.
Via S. Giorgio, 42 - 38068
Rovereto (TN) - Italy
Tel: +390464420852
Fax: +390464488924