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New generation of composite films from renewable raw materials for a sustainable product range

ALLVAC presents its strong innovative drive on the subject of sustainability at IFFA, the leading international trade fair for the meat industry, which will be held in Frankfurt from 4 to 9 May. At its stand (Hall 11, Stand E30), the Allgäu-based film manufacturer will not only present its sustainability report, but will also demonstrate the thermoforming capabilities of innovative barrier films containing renewable raw materials.

“Our production is even more sustainable now, since our new 11-layer coextruding line has been integrated in our production halls in order to produce ever thinner composite films with the usual high performance rates”, quotes Hans Bresele, Managing Director of ALLVAC.

Not only an increasing number of customer inquiries, but also the new packaging law, have motivated the company to invest even more innovative power in trend-setting packaging solutions. The company’s in-house laboratory and application technology centre offer the best prerequisites to test and further develop new types of composite films. First concrete approaches are environmentally compatible materials, but also recyclable ones, which can be returned to the production process. In general, polyamide and polyethylene, forming the basis of barrier films, are obtained from crude oil. Meanwhile, the industry is looking for ecological alternatives by using rapeseed oil or sugar cane as a base to substitute crude oil. ALLVAC’s polyamide-free composite films have already been put to the test and offer very practical application possibilities. “The new polyamide-free film is even ideally suited for thermoforming packaging, as the company’s own tests confirm”, Bresele is pleased to report.

Innovation alone is not sufficient to make the sustainability report, which the company is also presenting at IFFA, meaningful. It impressively documents the various approaches based on ecological, economic and social aspects. Residual materials originating from the production of composite films, for example, are painstakingly sorted while its quota is carefully monitored in the framework of the company’s waste management. “Of course, we want to avoid them in the first place. Any unavoidable residual material is subject to recycling and returned to production at our plant”, explains Bresele.

Energy management according to ISO 50001

Due to the fact that the production processes of composite films are very energy-intensive and energy efficiency is of utmost importance, ALLVAC has been able to install an extensive energy management system utilising ISO 50001. The monthly energy monitoring compiles and analyses statistics concerning consumption of electric energy. The company uses heat recovery to heat the rooms and has replaced all incandescent light bulbs with LEDs which are more energy efficient and provide a better working light.

Sustainability for human interaction

Sustainability also means human interaction – with employees and also with customers. This is one of the reasons why the film manufacturer has joined the GKV Code of Conduct which comprises competition law, global guidelines concerning human and labour rights as well as ethical and social principles. “Visitors to the trade fair will experience that sustainability, combined with our production of composite films, is an established practice at ALLVAC”, emphasizes the Managing Director.

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The production of thermoforming barrier films based on polyethylene and polyamide is the core competence of ALLVAC. These composite films are used in particular for the packaging of perishable foods. The Allgäu-based family business covers the entire process chain from development to extrusion and packaging, so that customers benefit from maximum flexibility and speed. ALLVAC was founded in 1992 by Hans Bresele senior and since 2007 has been a 100 percent subsidiary of the ALLFO Group. ALLVAC has since drawn a continuous success curve upwards, which is based on a conservative awareness of values, a great deal of innovation and high quality standards. The production of thermoforming barrier films is accomplished in two different processes: Blow extrusion is used to produce blown films, cast extrusion for casting the films. The choice of process depends on the desired efficiency, the final application and the required film properties, such as film thickness, gas barrier level, film strength and sealing capability.