manroland Goss looks to cut plastic in food industry

Green, a new project at manroland Goss

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manroland Goss looks at cut plastic in food industry
The trend of frozen food continues to grow and with it the demand for ever larger quantities of plastic.

Plastic has become an indispensable material for the food industry. In addition to fresh foods being wrapped in plastic for protection, a growing number of people are turning to frozen foods and convenience meals. Mountains of films are now responsible for not only keeping the goods fresh, but also protecting them from the transfer of undesirable substances.

As part of the government-funded Green research project, manroland Goss, as part of a consortium, wants to provide a remedy in the future for plastic consumption in the freezer, among other things. A bio-based barrier is currently being developed that protects food from external influences while keeping it fresh.

Tackles plastic mania in freezer

The trend of frozen food continues to grow and with it the demand for ever larger quantities of plastic; no matter if it is the film around frozen pizza or the plastic bag around French fries. Despite their thin processing, the influences in the life-cycle analysis are obvious due to the high quantities and their increasing demand. Yet only about half of these packaging remnants are recycled. In Germany, this results in approximately 38 kg of plastic waste per person every year. manroland Goss is therefore launching the Green project as a consortium partner to significantly reduce the use of plastics in the food industry.

Funding project 

At the end of 2022, the German Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food approved the funding application for the Green project, marking its official starting point. Due to the central relevance of the topic of making the packaging industry more sustainable, Green established the company Coatible. manroland Goss holds a quarter of the shares in this specially-founded company.

Biodegradable barrier solutions

Plastic films are primarily used because they provide protection for the product and its packaging. As a mineral oil and water vapor barrier, the newly developed barrier is intended to provide equivalent protection against contamination with unwelcome substances — with the key difference that it massively reduces plastic.

Machines, barrier coating and coating

The project is initially focused on reducing the plastic films wrapped around frozen pizzas. However, the development of a bio-based, degradable barrier also lays the foundation for the development of food barriers outside the freezer cabinet. Concrete components of the project are the development of a barrier coating, a coating process, and a new type of machine for applying the coating. The commercialization of the coated cardboard is also the focus. Furthermore, the objective was developed from the perspective of the end consumer: The replacement of the plastic film should not lead to any functional disadvantages.

manroland Goss a cooperation partner

As a co-founder, manroland Goss is implementing the Green cooperation project in collaboration with GPD Foodpackaging and other experts. Here, the press manufacturer is taking over the project management in the development of the barrier application process and in the creation of a prototype. As an expert in the printing press industry, manroland Goss is primarily responsible for testing barrier coatings in the application process.

The expertise in spraying and printing technology in particular enables manroland Goss to carry out complex test procedures and to generate an application technology of the highest quality. The final goal is an integrated and automated system with a process technology that perfectly goes hand in hand with the developed barrier.

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