Many companies are looking at making eco-friendly swaps to do their part in reducing their carbon footprint. We’re all too familiar with the impending plastic ban that goes into effect for Canada at the end of this year.
However, from a general consumer’s perspective, there doesn’t seem to be much progress in terms of plastic bottle swaps – why is that? There are actually many alternatives available on the market already, but they can be costly or just not sustainable for everyday use or consumption. Some examples are glass, ceramics, stainless steel and boxes (think boxed water).
What is Pulpex?
According to their website, they’re a new packaging technology company with a single-minded mission to deliver sustainability through renewable packaging. They pride themselves on their 3 Rs – renewable, recyclable, respectful.
Pulpex is a patented, first-of-its-kind pulp packaging solution that uses technological innovation to deliver much-needed and highly anticipated eco-packaging category changewww.pulpex.com, 2022
If you peruse their website, you’ll see videos of their machinery in action – and it’s impressive!
What’s unique about Pulpex’s final product is that it does not have any plastic lining. While other companies provide pulp-centric packaging, they are mostly lined with plastic to avoid the contents seeping through the outer packaging.
The company’s main goal is to provide an alternative to glass bottles and PET plastics. Although glass bottles are seen as a suitable substitute to plastic bottles, there is actually a significant impact on the environment when they are produced. By providing this alternative, Pulpex is removing harmful plastic fibres from the environment.
Why & How is it Made?
Pulpex was developed as a way to address 4 major challenges:
- the need to adhere to the increasing number of regulations set by government
- the fundamental need for sustainability as a brand in the current climate
- consumer demand for more sustainable packaging
- a need for retailers to present their own credentials as advocates of sustainability
Pulpex components are sustainable, scalable and single-mould designs. Their technology allows for customisable shapes, sustainably coloured pigments, embossing of logos, and even direct print and labelling options!
Bottles are formed by pressurising pulp into moulds using patented technology. The pulp containers are then cured in microwave ovens before spraying the inside with special, food-grade coatings. These coatings are designed to be compatible with whatever product they are holding (whether they be aqueous or oil based).
In terms of materials, all of the wood pulp is sustainably sourced, PEFC accredited and FSC certified. The company even holds chain of custody certifications and has an exclusive partnership with a global provider (Stora Enso).
Due to food safety regulations, recycled pulp cannot be used in Pulpex’s process, but at least the bottles can be recycled like normal paper/card stock – it does not require any special disposal methods. In fact, if the bottles are not disposed of correctly, they will degrade in the natural environment over time.
Can I Work With Them?
Currently, the UK company is only working with their existing partners. But don’t worry!
They are developing bottles in shapes suitable for their current brand partnerships so that when bottle manufacturers begin to produce bottles, they will be able to produce different shapes based on that technology.
Some Pulpex bottles have already launched, but you can look forward to seeing more being rolled out during 2022.
Existing partnerships* include:
- Kraft Heinz
- Estée Lauder
*check out their website for a full list of corporations they are currently working with
What Does the Future Hold for Pulpex?
While the company is only working with their corporate partners at the moment, they will soon begin to allow bottle manufacturers to produce bottles.
At the moment, the bottles can only hold cold, still liquids. They are in the process of creating hot-fill and carbonated versions, and LeKAC is excited to see that happen!
All in all, we think this company is on the right track. They recapture water where they are able to, they use renewable energy where available, and they just have the right mindset in terms of sustainability.
We understand the possibility of Pulpex packaging for the average company is still a ways away, so if you are looking for custom packaging options in the interim – contact us! Our team is ready and waiting to help you create your dream, eco-friendly packaging!