Sustainable packaging in pharmaceuticals.
Commerce is no longer driven by price point related concerns. Towards the end of 2022 Label Craft joined the Asteria Group and aligned with their sustainability practices at their Dublin factory in Ireland. The Asteria group at large proudly boasts a wide range of sustainable raw materials at its disposal. Moreover, as a group we closely follow all ecological market developments and proactively search for innovative, sustainable materials together.
The issue of environmental sustainability is becoming more and more urgent and drives the implementation of measures that are necessary to mitigate its effects, as shown by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development signed by the UN and the ecological transition goals set by the European Union.
As far as packaging is concerned, the European Union regulates the matter very strictly with the aim of binding countries to make all packaging used on the EU market recyclable by 2030.
In this context, pharmaceutical packaging companies are called upon to make their products more responsible by embracing a circular economy approach. Research in this area has already brought important results and there are already numerous solutions with a reduced environmental impact.
The innovation of sustainable packaging
The general direction taken by packaging companies is towards a design model that makes production processes more sustainable and in line with the logic of circularity. Eco-design criteria are already being adopted during the product conception phase, such as:
The use of thinner raw materials has many advantages. Logically, less raw material is needed. This results in 16% more labels per roll, 13% fewer roll changes and up to 25% less waste. Moreover, these materials take up less space, thus saving on storage and transport.
By using thinner raw materials production is more productive, cost-effective, and sustainable than when using conventional raw materials.
The Asteria Group has a strict purchasing policy for all our raw materials. You can opt for materials made from recycled sources (in whole or in part). Whether paper, cardboard, or plastic.
We offer RPE (made from 30% recycled PE), RPP (made from recycled PP waste) and RMC (made from recycled paper waste).
But also, materials manufactured from (wholly or partly) alternative sources, such as sugar cane or grass, can be an option. On a day-to-day basis, we have bio-based PE, made from sugar cane ethanol instead of fossil raw materials, and bio-based PP, made from non-fossil raw materials, such as vegetable oils in stock.
As far as secondary packaging is concerned, the European Union is pushing for the replacement of the traditional package leaflet inside medicine packaging with holographic labels or QR codes which would allow information to be accessed through the use of a smartphone. In addition to a significant reduction in the use of paper, solutions of this kind would also allow the product to be tracked throughout the supply chain, protecting it from any form of tampering or counterfeiting, as well as making it possible to update information immediately.