The fact that the environment and packaging cannot be “green” for one another has long been taken for granted. So far – because with Flute an industry leader has set out to turn cherished thought patterns on their heads. The formula for success: Innovative solutions that tackle the subject of transport packaging without blinkers. “Plastic in itself is not a bad thing,” says Marc Rapp, owner and CEO of Flöter. “Just like wrapping paper, for which trees are felled, cannot be the smarter alternative per se.” Rather, what is decisive is a sustainable approach.
At Flöter, the principle of sustainability rests on two pillars: avoiding waste and optimizing recycling cycles. In order not to let garbage arise in the first place, one works with the most natural ally imaginable – air! It accounts for up to 99% of Flöter air cushion packaging. Know-how breathes a second life into the rest of the material. For this purpose, Flöter has developed paper air cushions made from recycled material and organic air cushion films made from potato starch. Both protect the packaged goods safely and are completely biodegradable, yes they can even be composted.
Ecological packaging: organic bubble wrap scores with sustainability
AirWave PaperWave organic air cushion films are made from 100% recycled paper and a wafer-thin sealing layer made from a potato starch blend. The finished product comes from 80% renewable raw materials. The FSC-certified air cushions contain an ultra-thin sealing layer that is compostable and does not have a negative impact on recycling. The organic paper air cushion can be disposed of completely in the waste paper or simply composted. If the ecological packaging falls into the sea unplanned, the components even gradually dissolve completely in the water.
AirWave organic bubble wrap makes use of the many advantages of potato starch. Only Flöter is currently able to offer such a thin version of home compostable bubble wrap at low cost – even GMO-free. Sales manager Daniel Koch attests to the ingenious development an enormous potential: “Even now the additional costs are only a few cents. With every new user, organic pays for itself even more easily in the future. ”
The third component in the structure is the AirWave ClimaFilm bubble wrap. 52% of the solution, which is suitable for goods of all kinds, is made from recycled material. Since Flöter mainly packs with air, this saves up to 100% carbon dioxide compared to alternatives – the bottom line is many tons of CO2 per year. The 100% climate-neutral bubble wrap also makes the climate-neutrality in e-commerce a leg up.
Transport packaging, carefully thought through
Flöter is working hard on new packaging solutions that are consistently geared towards product requirements – but not only. The location of the material disposal is also very relevant. Marc Rapp refers to the strong global gradient in the waste collection rate. While it is quite high in this country, the garbage is still largely disposed of in an uncontrolled manner in many countries. That is why it depends on substances that are best matched to the disposal concepts available in the destination country.
At Flöter, environmental considerations already flow into product development. Daniel Koch: “Our goal is to create products that strike the best possible balance between product protection and environmental compatibility – and that with as little energy as possible and the lowest possible CO2 emissions, as well as with films that also reliably prove themselves in smaller thicknesses.”
So Flöter reserves itself according to the principle “Renewable raw materials, where possible; Plastic, where necessary “all material options open. Also for plastic. For Marc Rapp, climate-neutral, recyclable plastic is justified wherever critical product protection has to be in the foreground, for example due to high weights. “When recycled several times, plastic often even does better in the life cycle assessment than supposedly more environmentally friendly alternatives,” says Rapp. “If you consider that 1 kilo of paper requires 3 kilos of tree and 6 liters of water, you understand the need to think twice about packaging design.”