Back in August, we spoke to Martin Berlekamp, Head of Sustainability at Schur Flexibles Group, about the firm’s proactive sustainability drive that has brought environmentalism to the forefront of its decision making.
Having won FlexiClose’s 2018 German Packaging Award in Sustainability, the firm is striving to realise a five-point green strategy across its operations. Recycling, Replace, Reduction, Renewable and Responsibility comprise the 5Rs outlining the strategy for its sustainability transformation.
“We see our current sustainability transformation as a challenge because society is keen to change the treatment of plastics,” says Berlekamp. “As packaging takes up a high percentage of plastics being produced, we have to find a responsible way to handle sustainability along the value chain. As Schur Flexibles is well prepared with its current and new product portfolio, we can help our customers fulfil their sustainability goals which are often much more demanding than the ones requested by the legislation.”
One of the many areas that Schur Flexibles is focused on is marine health, particularly in ensuring its products don’t find their way into our oceans, and it is bent on establishing a circular economy for plastics within its operations. “Everyone has become a lot more aware of what’s going on in the oceans,” says Berlekamp. “Since that time, customers are more sensitive about packaging materials, particularly plastic ones. It’s become a key reason why the whole community is now looking for sustainable alternatives. They’re coming into a circular economy and it has been one of the biggest challenges because, in the past, the flexible films industry was really developing thin films using multiple polymers. Recyclability is not a given if you have different polymers, and this is why we’re trying to do more for less.”