According to the NACD, the focus of corporate social responsibility is changing. Traditionally, CSR efforts were often just PR exercises. Most often, the focus on sustainability was on post-consumer recycling efforts, when feasible.
But today, more and more businesses are finding that optimizing strategies to use resources more efficiently are not just saving the environment, but the push continues to add real value to their bottom line as their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) programs evolve.
Whether you are an engineer, marketer, director or top level executive, these are the kind of discussions that experts at Rovema and Südpack are having every day with their customers. With so many challenges that manufacturers are facing in 2020, there wasn't a better time to come together for this round table discussion.
Learn the Lingo: Recyclable, Biodegradable, Industrial compost-able, etc... what do they really mean?
Hey everyone, thanks for tuning in to today's webinar on navigating sustainable packaging materials and adaptable vffs machines. My name is Emily Brogan I am the marketing and sales coordinator for Rovema North America. And with me today I have Kelly Eastman, our Vice President of Engineering. And then also with us today is a new face we have a special guest Simon Hermans. He is the sales and marketing director for Suedpack's division here in the US. So Simon on behalf of Rovema, thanks for joining us today on this discussion.
Thank you for having me.
So for everyone that's tuned in live, there's a poll option that I just deployed. And we're curious when you think of your supply chain holistically, what phase of your business needs work from a resource usage perspective, and I'll give you some examples.
So the first one is freight and some maybe because of the weight limits of your packaging, you think you can see it as that being a aspect that's holding you back from being able to ship more product. The second one is materials. So maybe you're using pre made packaging or a heavier packaging, like like rigid packaging, and you're sacrificing floor space, or even high expenses of shipping those packages in to your plant. And then the third one is machine efficiency and uptime. So maybe you have a high cost of labor if you're maybe not where you could be for automation, or you're expecting unexpected or unplanned downtime that's really causing product and potential material loss.
So and then that last one really is consumer expectations. So an example that would mean that you perhaps feel pigeon holed by the expectations of your customers to stay in a certain package type or material when you think that exploring a different package type or material would potentially change your business.
So, while you fill that out I do have a couple of housekeeping notes, we are recording today's discussion, and we'll share the recording with everyone tomorrow. And then you'll receive a follow up email this time tomorrow, which will include the link to the recording and our slide deck that we're using today. Please use the Q&A function to submit any questions. And then at the end, we're going to get through as many as we can. And if we don't get to your question, we are going to email you a response.
So to quickly lay some groundwork, um, you know, just so that we're all really speaking the same language, there are a lot of terms that are used within the sustainable packaging space.
Simon, could you take us through these common terms and what they really mean?
Sure, I'd be happy to. I think it's very important that we start with the language and the lingo and the definitions first, before we jump into into the next 45 minutes. Starting right off, I think there's a there's a couple of really important factors that distinguish those those terms. Right? Recyclable basically means that today you have materials available in rigid and flexible packaging that can be recycled and can be reused, repurposed. Again, very important for the ones that are joining us today in the consumer brands, consumer goods industry as well as in the food industry. Recycling today means that in 99% of the cases this is down cycled: repurposed into something that cannot be reused again in in food packaging or consumer goods packaging, meaning we'll make another park bench out of cheese packaging or we make a water hose out of another chips bag. Biodegradable by itself can be distinguished into the overall biodegradable word which then has a subsidiary being compostable. Biodegradable basically means that you decompose the material I living organisms, meaning and including specified temperatures and times and humidities to degrade that material into a different status. Whereas composting really means that you're actually getting organic material out of that, that resin at the end of the day. Um that means that there is materials that how do you say that compostable is always biodegradable? But biodegradable is not always compostable? If that makes sense, right.
Okay, well, you know, often the market thinks of paper films as like the cleanest and greenest option. And that really ties into the next question that we have of what advances in new materials and polymers are out there that folks can explore.
Right! Um, I think if I, there's so much to explore right now in this industry. If I look at the activities that Suedpack has launched is launching will launch in the future we've basically tied it into four quadrants, the first one talking about down gauging. So we're exploring with current materials, current polymers, how can we substitute and also reduce the amount of materials being used. We're we're then looking more into the next quadrant, talking about renewable raw materials, this is where it gets really interesting because we're exploring developments using plant based resins that can substitute certain other fossil fuel based resins, meaning that we're using plant based material, like corn starch or sugar cane to actually replace certain parts of those films or actually replace the whole structure with a renewable resource made material. The third one being where we talked about recyclable there's some some great developments also for the North American market, which some of you may know is very different to some other geographies when it comes to legislation and the requirements for recyclability and the claims that we can make today and industry. There's some some some great options available for North America on mono materials like polypropylene where we see quite a few inroads being made right now by the whole industry and a lot of interest from our customer base. Same goes for mono polyester or mono polyethylene solutions. There's some really interesting developments happening there. And then, of course, the fourth quadrant being probably the game changer for the future where we actually talk about a circular economy where we actually trying to -remember what I just said before about recycling where we're down cycling, actually, -with a circular economy, we would truly repurpose that packaging material for the same purpose in the future again.
There is right now, technologies where Suedpack is investing in and spending a lot of time, effort and resources on to launch commercial products. are made of chemically recycled materials, meaning that through the process of chemical recycling, you're actually obtaining virgin material out of post consumer recycled product again. So you're repurposing if you think of it, and you're and you use your imagination in that webinar right now for a second with me, you're taking that bag of chips, and it goes into the waste bin and gets collected, then it gets actually recycled. At the end, it becomes resin again, it gets shipped to Suedpack, we make a film out of it again. And you as a customer can actually use that material again and use it as a potato bag or a chip back again in the future. So some some really, really exciting developments happening in all four quadrants, I'd say.
That is exciting. Well, you know, it goes without saying that that one of the most important questions of sustainability is you know, ultimately protecting the product. We will go into the carbon footprint here in a second. But if folks take the time to invest in great material, but then it ultimately ends up in landfills full of spoiled product, then we're nullifying any sort of sustainable packaging benefits. And it's, it's really a shame.
Simon, diving deeper into that last point of, you know, new packaging materials. And you're gonna dive into all of the advancements and how rapidly the advancements have been happening over the last 24 months. What advances in barrier properties and strengths are happening right now in the film industry?
Yeah. So, I think the really the, and that is a very good question. Because at the end of the day, what what we what we cannot what we cannot do is really to develop a product that doesn't meet certain barrier requirements, let's take the protein industry again for an example, it's it's all nice that the the industry wants to move into more paper based products. But with a sheer paper based wrapper today, I cannot just go and wrap a block of cheese or make a bag for shredded cheese out of it, for instance, because it would just go bad very, very soon thereafter, which again, would not really fit the purpose of today's supply chain challenges that we have. And at the end, we haven't achieved anything because we're just creating food waste, right. And I think we're touching on that later down down the road today.
But with that, so the biggest goal that we have, and this is where we are developing in is that with all those quadrants that I mentioned before, we enable our customers on those applications to obtain similar or even better barrier properties in the future. I mean some of them are currently available Some are in development, but it means that we are that we are really understanding that we cannot really start to fiddle with the barrier requirements we have to do the surroundings, the sealants, the base layers of the films and and keep an ensure that we have those those barriers still intact for those products because at the end of the day, food waste is one of the biggest problems and our packaging is supposed to protect not only the product, but also the environment. So this is where we then need to make sure that we enable this barrier to be on the similar or even better level in the future.
For sure and you know, you mentioned the the meat and dairy industries and I know that second to fresh produce the amount of food storage or food spoilage and these categories is wicked high percentage was especially in the United States, and I think that You know, that topic in itself is probably its own webinar.
So thanks, Simon.
Before we dive into how all these innovations relate to packaging machinery, I do want to talk about the the carbon footprint of the full material life cycle, you know, sourcing materials, manufacturing, packaging, case packing, storage of your finished product, and then transporting the finished goods, end of life processing all of that, like the recycling that we're talking about. Simon, I took a look at Suedpack's sustainability report on y'alls website and it says that the most environmentally unfriendly thing to do would be to allow foodstuffs to perish by not protecting it. And, and really, again, that just dives into the fact that if you can invest in films that fall into a sustainable category, it can't be recycled if it's full of product and I do want to show a quick carbon footprint breakdown. And this is for a wrapped hothouse cucumber, we're probably all pretty familiar with seeing this in the market. Often, if you can use packaging to extend the shelf life or freshness of any sort of perishable product to the point where you can get even as little as a 3% increase in the amount of product that's getting consumed instead of thrown out. It'll result in a lower net carbon footprint for all of your items. So and we won't be able to stay on this slide for long everybody will get the slide deck in case I don't give y'all enough time. But I do want y'all to digest these numbers because it's really fascinating.
So Kelly, in your experience, and you're in the hot seat now, transitioning back to sustainable packaging, what operational considerations will folks need to keep in mind When evaluating any sort of renewable or sustainable packaging?
Thanks, Emily. The considerations really are not different for sustainable materials as they are for any materials and we know there's a lot of, probably all familiar with existing, non sustainable materials that do a good job with the with packaging our products today.
We're looking for the same sort of features, the and for the from the perspective of the packaging machine, vertical form fill seal, you might start with the static considerations, for example
So, are we able to include anti-static additives in the new film, or do we need to address that with machine. It's a fairly simple one, it gets a little we can get into more complicated issues like elasticity or flexibility in the material. This is really important when we're moving the film over the forming collar, we want the film to be elastic enough. We don't want it to tear going over the collar. That's a problem with paper films or paper products. As an example, tearing can be an issue, but we want it to also not stretch. So you want it to move over the forming collar, you want it to move down the forming too. So we want to be able to pull the film so you want a high coefficient of friction on the outside of the film and a low coefficient of friction on the inside of the film, to allow it to move over the forming tube, and be pulled by the pull bells.
And then you get into sealing concerns. That's probably the biggest challenge with some new (materials) is you're looking for a good way to seal the material. You want to especially use example of liquid products and seal is really critical. You cannot have a leaking package but always you want to be able to protect the package, you want to get a good quality seal. And we need to be able to address that with new structures.
Well, and, Kelly you sent me this graphic that really just shows the sealing solution that Rovema offers. Can you walk us through this really quickly?
Yeah, sure. There's, like I said, there's a couple of things that we do on Rovema packaging equipment, for example, to address, it gives you more flexibility in new films, are we looking at new, this in premium seal is a great example of one way to give yourself more flexibility in the types of materials you can run on the machine.
So the premium seal process is really about giving is about the control of the pressure of the jaws as they're making the horizontal seal on the film. So as the jaws come together, as you walk here from the left to the right in this graphic, you can see that when the jaws initially come together, we can keep a really lightweight pressure because it's all servo control, there's no mechanical adjustment or anything.
So it's a self programmable and set-able with the HDMI, that we can keep a light pressure on the seal to maybe preheat, say a polyethylene material to give it a little bit a little bit of heat energy into the film before we squeeze so you don't squeeze out the adhesive layer. And then you can bring the jaws together at full force to get the final seal. And then you can even open and relieve the pressure and allow it to cool before you open them before you fully open jobs. So it gives you a great sense of control over the over the machine through the machine to allow great flexibility in the types of products that can test the materials that can be run.
And another factor that we use we do use a D-motion which we don't have a graphic of today but you can imagine two capital D's back to back. So it's the motion of our jaws. Because that, so you get the long side of the D gives your longest amount of time available. Because you know, flexibility, it gives you more time. If you need more time to seal, these really maximizes the seal time that we have available.
So there are a few things you can do in technology to help give yourself flexibility and materials.
That sounds like a lot of things that have to happen at once. How fast are we talking when we talk about all of those stages of that have to happen for each package?
Yeah, well, that's very dependent on the on the product and packaging, of course, but we can run you know, certainly easily over 100. And even I think it's our fastest machines run 250 I think packages, many of these are fastest.
The advantage through the Rovema equipment is that all of that is really done in the background. So it's all done in the programs. That's all it's already there. It's very simple. There's a few factors you can choose your control from the HMI, the amount of time you need to seal, how fast you want to run, basically all of those calculations are done by the programming. So you really don't have to you don't have to know all of this as an operator or even as a maintenance mechanic. It's it's available through the HMI and a few small choices.
Right, and really wanted to address, someone named Robert had asked in the chat, will it lower that output speed? So I'm guessing that that's a no.
Well, that's a good question. So, sustainable materials do not have to lower the output speed. That's that's probably the correct the best answer I can say, Simon, I'll ask you to comment, but I would say for example, if you're running paper paper is going to run slow, mainly because it's, it has a high propensity to tear so you can run it as fast but with most of our plastics as long as I've seen, most of the ones we run can really run in similar speeds. Simon do you want to want to add to that?
No, I think you summed that up. You're the machine experts here. And as we always say, the machine comes first then comes the material. You create a more high output machine. And then we have to define and design a new film that seals and keeps up with what the machine is capable of. But I think what you just said, sums it up. I remember we had a joint development in Europe with a fast seal technology that enabled the customer to run in excess of 250 packs a minute. So yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
Awesome. Well, jumping into some big picture questions. And this is really for both of you guys. What sorts of products or even industries in general can all can offer the biggest chance for material reduction.
So, you know down gauging even full, like just turning things on their head and going from rigid to to flexible, different things like that.
Yeah I'll start, I think you touched on one of the biggest opportunities probably the biggest opportunity to get material reduction is to go from rigid to flexible. We see that a lot in liquid. So liquid packaging, for example is one that's there's, there's a lot of focus and trying to get out of cans we see in the graphic here, pallets and pallets of cans. You can imagine a single roll of film is can be, it's thousands of impressions typically 5000 to 7000 impressions, depending on the length of your package, so that equals five to 7000 cans on pallets. This truck loads and pallets are represented. by a single roll of film, so you can logistically, even aside from the storage space or the amount of material that's used, you can really imagine how that impacts your whole supply chain. And Simon, you might add to that.
Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. I mean, it's it's take take cans or jars, or carton boxes as an example they need to be pre manufactured or pre made cups or trays. It is not only space in the truck that needs to go from a converter or a manufacturer to the actual packing facility and from there the distribution center and so on. But we're also talking about the weight. If we're talking about glass jars, for instance, the amount of packaging material that is put on the road every day to go from the manufacturing site to a warehouse or directly to the packing facility. And then on to within the the distribution channel is just crazy. I can give you an example of a well known liquor brand that uses a very heavy, almost over engineered green glass bottle. It's a German herbal liqueur that some of you might be familiar with. If you fill a truck of this liquor and transported from point A to B 70% of the weight that this truck is carrying is glass and only 30% is is actually the product content. And I know we're getting to that in a second but I think next to the in the liquid space, absolutely. There is the most disruption that we're also seeing on the shelves right now. I mean, it's exciting times when you when you go yourself into the supermarket. We used to buy our cream cheese or or guacamole in a cup or something like that and suddenly it pops up in In a pouch with a fitment on it that I can easily just squeeze out the product, I don't have to use a spoon or a knife, I can easily actually offer so many other purposes as well. Next to the sustainability aspect, it also offers convenience and disruption on the shelf. So I think we're getting back later to sharing mutual objectives and goals. So there's there's a lot of different purposes that you're serving by going into flexible packaging, not only the sustainability aspect, which by far out rules, all the subsequent ones, right.
Well, and it's nice when it takes up less room in my Recycle Bin.
That is true.
So Simon, you sent me this graphic from I think it's the sustainability report on your website as well. And can you walk us through how to interpret this?
Yeah, so we have a whole section on our website, which is really exciting. It's a lot of educational material for everybody to kind of dive deeper into those segments. And obviously anybody here at Suedpack would be happy to dive deeper into that and offer detailed information on that as a follow up, but basically what this did and it's kind of like a detailed overview of what what Kelly was alluding to already, um, what is truly in a sustainable way when we're talking about the different material or packaging types that are out there, what is really a sustainable way of packaging product. And this was done by our corporate marketing group to, to compare one kilogram which equals about two pounds of, in imperial units of packaging material across different categories or packaging types, how much product content could you actually protect, at the end of the day, and if we follow that logic, and we go from left to right, if you take one kilogram, which again is about two pounds of packaging material, and in this case, it's just glass for a jar, you could only end up with about 3.8 pounds of soup that you can actually package in this jar. Or if you can, it, it's about 16 pounds. So two pounds of packaging material you can pack 16 pounds of of soup if you put it in a can, um, I spare you the carton, I think you'll get the logic there. But what is really significant i think is the the ratio when we're looking at one kilogram or two pounds of flexible packaging material. If you put that on a Rovema liquid pack machine and you end up with with a soup that is packed. In a flexible format, you end up with over 100 pounds that's a factor 50- 100 pounds of product that you can pack. Um, compared it to the amount of soup that you buy for yourself and you put it in your fridge usually you buy one or two. Now your whole fridge just suddenly is all with the same amount of packaging material. And how much soup you can actually pack with it right?
So I think that that really sums it up really well. That this is by far not only from a weight but also from a material usage standpoint, the most sustainable option to pack product today and also in the future.
Well, and even for dry goods, I know that that carton, the carton looks like a really good option too. But what a lot of folks don't take into account is for products to be fed into the carton. It doesn't settle right away. So even if you know these trucks with with jars and cans of soup, they're they're probably getting weighed out so you're not as much worried about like void space and paying to practically ship air. But if you start talking about dry goods in cartons, then where particularly in the pasta industry. We're seeing a lot of disruption there in in getting, you know, two or three more stacks on a pallet by switching to flexible packaging, which that is tremendous savings in a segment that there's not a whole lot, there's not as much margin I would say.
So Kelly for packaging machinery, jumping back into machinery, what technologies can allow for even further reductions, you know that that incremental savings that we can see,
Yeah, there's a few things that can be considered just to reduce the amount of materials you're using, say, for example, we're looking at the graphic here, over two finger roll for space needed above the product in order to make the seal and we're making a bag.
If your current equipment needs more than that, or if you're if you have more than that, say you've got double that you can easily take an inch out of every bag, I've got the, I'm going to save some material on pouch. One of the ways we can do that, too with certain products doesn't work with every product but the Rovema equipment has the option for stripping functions, which is basically when the jaws come together though before they close completely, you can program in a downward movement so that the jaws actually compress the product in the package before we seal. So then we can kind of create that space if the product doesn't settle fast enough on the machine. That's one technology that can help with that. There's other ways to look at it as we look at the seal. It's not uncommon for a wider seal to be required. If you don't have a strong enough seal. Maybe you go for a 20 millimeter wide seal instead of what our standard is a 14 millimeter wide seal. If you can reduce every top and bottom seal by five millimeters then you can save 10 millimeters per package over the course of a year that's going to add up to a lot of film savings. So that's just film you're not using for every bag. So those are a couple of small little technology ways to address your question.
Well, and ever since I had to start kind of thinking like this over the last year or so, you know, just walking around in the gas station, I see so many products sitting in retail ready packages that have the punched holes for merchandising on pegboards. And, you know, that extra film that folks are using really could translate into significant year over year savings if they're if their market research showed that it's unnecessary.
And here's actually some retail ready packaging in this graphic as well. Really on that topic of market research. You know, so much of innovation is driven by customer preferences and expectations and really to both of you guys, what do you see driving trends here?
I think what we see is um, I mean this topic by itself you could spend probably hours on what are the smaller trends or tendencies that we see right now in the market or overall in industry. I think what we what we really see that sustainability and the quest for new ways to package product both material ways and also from an equipment standpoint is is going to to keep this industry and all of us busy. Sustainability definitely is a mega trend. Nothing that will go away anytime soon. It is here to stay it will get bigger, as resources get more scarce and pressure from consumers is getting more. We all got to remember there is, even here in North America over the next five years, the percentage of millennial that are actually going to join the workforce are already in the in the workforce. And looking at their incomes and what actually what values they have and how much focus they actually have on creating a better tomorrow by using more sustainable packaging solutions by creating less waste by reducing their overall carbon footprint for generations to come. So I think, again, this is a mega trend that we're seeing. That is not going to go away.
We are still in an excellent exploratory phase, how this is actually going to look like what materials How will machines in the future look like? We're making Great developments across the board in this industry right now it's so exciting to be part of this. The developments that we have seen over the last 24 months is just breathtaking to be honest with you. How much we have seen on both sides happening, that it's not so much about where we're at today, but the trend is really, we have this common topic, this common goal to to to create a better future a more sustainable future, given equipment and materials. And this is the overall trend that we see actually.
Well, in doing research on the topic, I did read that 250 of the largest companies in the world of those companies 93% are now reporting on their sustainability efforts because they recognize that millennials are reaching their prime spending years. So and it's really important to them. So that That's really cool.
Absolutely. And just just adding to that we have we have, we have we have surveys over the last two years, three years ago, over 90% of all CEOs of Fortune 500 companies have said this is going to decide what fortune 500 companies actually going to be here in the next decade and beyond. Because like I said, it is a trend to stay sustainability is going to stay and it's going to be a challenge for all of us participating in this industry.
So let's, let's start talking about solutions and gameplan and strategy. So how can marketing and engineering teams work collaboratively to pilot new materials? How can they, you know confidently belly up to the boardroom table and start trying to figure out what the best solution is for their products?
Yeah, Emily I think probably the most important thing I can recommend, if you take it take away from this discussion, say, if you're in the process of trying to develop a new package for your product, I would get your machinery and materials supplier involved as early as possible. Those conversations happen a lot. A lot of times we're not involved. If we can be involved, we can give you feedback on what might be very important to us some small detail about, about a choice about a package or package design or the material selection, that can really impact how well it's going to run and your operations. And maybe those small things don't mean anything to you or your marketing team. But they're really important to the machinery or the material perspective. If we can have that opportunity to have early input. That's really probably the most important thing we can do because it's really hard to those decisions are already made when it comes to us. It's very challenging to deal with. Simon?
Yeah, I couldn't agree more and yeah, Emily, I think the answer is in your question. teams working together as teams. Because at the end of the day, it's so much about that overall common or mutual goal and actually connecting all the different stakeholders in such a project whenever it comes to replacing a certain pack style or a material or even developing a new product or a new new item. To Kelly's point, involve the equipment maker from the get go involved the material maker from the get go, usually, there is so much experience and know how from both sides of the table that can be shared very early in the process that can also help to save some time down the road, that and resources that are used internally I think getting back to that shared and mutual objective it is so important that from the get go, um, those are shared and you agree on certain on certain basics there because we all know that the participants where in marketing for instance today or and product management they have much different goals or objectives when launching a new product or repurposing a new product, it's more about the claim out there to put a recyclable or sustainable stamp on that product to actually obtain more sales to generate more revenue. Whereas folks in R&D and engineering want to make sure that it that it perfectly runs as smoothly as perfect as possible. And our operations and engineering colleagues on the call at just do not want to have any disruption in in getting product produced and and shipped out the door. with as little complications or leakers down the road, and those are extremely challenging targets to all get them on, agreeing on the same on the same purpose or on the same goal. So, again getting all participants of those projects on a round table agreeing on basics because this is such a big topic sustainability by itself, like we said on the previous slide is such a big topic that will decide on so much for not only us but for generations to come. So, it is important that we start somewhere and somewhere sometimes it's not the end goal but a step in between. So it's a step by step approach that we have to take with common mutual agreed objectives that we then also work together as one team equipment manufacturer, with material vendor with the customer and the the subsequent team members and stakeholders on the customer side.
That's a huge point. And really recognizing that everyone is going to define the success of this packaging solution differently. That's huge and, you know, supporting customers through these, you know, hard dates that retailers are setting too, getting those priorities out on the table is key because, you know, they're all valid and they're, they're coming at us like a freight train. Kelly, you talked about making sure that your machine vendor is involved on the front end. How can they help companies navigate these changes?
Sure. It really comes down to the feedback of what what pieces are important to the machine, we can really offer you a lot of insight into that. I know that Rovema does in our our research and development group, we do probably 100 to 200 film evaluations every year. So we're testing films on our equipment, these might be films that come to us through customer or as a development with, with the material supplier that we want to evaluate those, how do they run, what feedback can we offer? What changes might be made? Sometimes if it's in the development stage, we might be able to give that feedback and say, these are the important things you could change or the in your package design. What could you do to your package design that would make it more more simple to run for your operations. It's really that from the perspective of the machine, obviously we're trying to make a good package that's key for us to make a good package that is meets your goals, but also that are not just consumer goals, but your operations goals.
Yeah, for sure. Well, and I'm sure a secondary benefit to all the testing and getting those materials spec'ed out, that's only going to get folks to market that much more efficiently from like a project management perspective.
Simon to pose this similar Well, really the same question to you, what's a packaging material vendors role in helping companies navigate changes?
Yeah. Um, I think our role is changing. In this ever so changing environment, our role is changing dramatically. Whereas with standard materials, or traditional material combinations that we have seen in the industry for quite some time where Kelly knows exactly by application and by product weight or pack style, what the temperatures would be on the machine and what the throughput would be. With those challenging challenging topics that we have ahead of us with, with challenges from the consumer Eventually challenging the retailer changing, challenging our or customers and then then actually challenging us on providing more sustainable or even recyclable alternatives or solutions in the future. Um, there is so many exciting developments not only by Suedpack but by the whole industry out there and just knowing talking about the four quadrants that I just outlined before from down gauging to at Suedpack using renewable resources or even offering fully recyclable products or even going a step further to a truly circular economy, solution with chemicals, chemical recycling, you can get lost.
And I think next to providing those materials those options for us as a partner as a true partner as we want to be seen in this industry, to our customers. It is also our our task and in my opinion also my duty to educate but mostly to navigate and help our customers based on their challenges based on their objectives based on what they want to achieve with their products with their applications, the goals they want to reach.
You mentioned before the sustainability objectives that certain companies have set for themselves, which are very aspiring, very good, but very aspiring, very challenging goals to reach in, in a very short timeframe. So you need to stay focused, you need to work as teams. And at the same token, you need the right partners like Rovema like Suedpack to help you navigate through that because we have an experience. We have those applications market ready to get you one step closer to achieving those goals.
Well, I'm excited to see what the future holds for all these innovations. And that is going to button up kind of the presentation phase. And really what we have prepared for today's discussion. So let's go ahead and take some time to dive into some questions before we close. Here is one. And this is probably what a lot of folks are wondering, Simon really this is for you
What is the cost difference of fully recyclable film materials?
It depends so much on the product.
There's there's products available and you can see it on my smile on my face, because this is a question we get. So often when we talk about all those exciting solutions that we have, right? There's products where we are able to be close neutral because we're able to to down gauge and to replace certain structures with others in a way that we have never thought about it before because we're just in this exploratory phase like everybody else, right? Um, but there's also others depending on which route you want to take where there might be a slight upcharge but then you get you get a better, better barrier properties or you have a better story to tell, which then enables you to grow your sales. So it's really difficult to tell it It depends so much on the application, the market, you're in, the categories. To give you a precise answer on that. For those that would like to have a detailed understanding of how that would look like for them. I'm more than happy or Suedpack in general is more than happy to reconnect and look at your product in detail your application in detail and see what an alternative would look like also from a cost perspective, but it's a bit too much of a loaded question to give you a precise answer.
For sure. Well, and you talked about circular economy and summon Another question is, what chemical recycling options are available in the United States.
So we have launched products In other parts of the world, mainly in Europe, mainly for the protein industry, but they can be applied to any other industry as well. Um, and they are market ready. We're doing already some some some trials here here in the US. So there's market ready solutions that are just waiting to be trialed here also in North America by customers. Cool.
Well, we are much over time. I do want to thank everyone for all the great questions. And if you took the time to submit a question and we have not addressed it yet, look out for a response to your answer in a follow up email. And just as a parting note, sustainability really is such a broad issue. And no matter where you stand on the topic, there are a lot of benefits to really educating ourselves around all of the considerations and exploring how we can be better stewards of our resources in our own personal lives and in the business decisions that we make every day. I want to thank Kelly and Simon for joining me today and giving us some great insights from really your drastically different perspectives in the packaging industry. And then I do want to personally thank all of our attendees for listening in today. I hope you all enjoyed it, and we will see you on the next one. Bye, everybody.
Thanks. Thank you. Goodbye. Thanks, y'all.