Skymark, an independent UK flexible packaging manufacturer, has developed a range of packs with significantly reduced weight for use in retailer Tesco’s range of baby wipes.
Skymark has developed a PE film to be used in a laminate structure which is lighter and thinner than previous designs used for Tesco’s own label Ultra Soft baby wipes. In total, this has removed 57 tonnes of plastic from the waste stream in its first year.
Paul Glover, commercial technical director at Skymark, said: ‘In line with the latest media coverage, it’s clear that consumers want to see more packaging on supermarket shelves that is both functional and sustainable. This small but significant change to baby wipe packaging represents a 20 percent material reduction resulting in the removal of 57 tonnes of plastic.’
Through design, use of the latest resin technologies and integrated film, print, lamination and conversion production capabilities, Skymark has downgauged the PE film used in the laminate structure from 50um to 35um. The development results in a packaging weight reduction of 20 percent, before the application of the lid.
The new pack structure has benefits to both manufacturing and the supply chain. The thinner film means there are more meters on any one roll, reducing the number of roll changes during pack production; and a reduction in the number of pallets being shipped, stored and moved. Furthermore, the thinner film requires fewer raw materials therefore minimizing packaging waste both at the point of manufacture and when the consumer disposes of the pack at the end of its service life.
Glover continued: ‘Our innovation team worked closely with the retailer’s packaging team and chosen wet wipe supplier to design a pack which meets the needs of both the consumer and the retail supply chain. Our goal was to create a pack which was more sustainable and lighter weight, without sacrificing the aesthetics and performance of the pack in production.’
Skymark supplies embossed, plain and printed flexible films. Its manufacturing capabilities include cast and blown film co-extrusion, flexographic printing, solvent and solventless lamination, slitting, conversion and recycling. Skymark has two manufacturing facilities in the UK, in Ilkeston and Scunthorpe.