Saica keen to Flex new efficient offering

SAICA Flex, a division of Saica Group, has told Packaging Scotland that ensuring efficiency for customers is at the forefront of the firm’s move into new flexible offerings.

The comments from director general, Miguel Angel Dora, follow the opening of the firm’s innovation centre in Zaragoza, Spain and release of a raft of new flexible products.

“For us as a company we have always built our business as a circular business,” Miguel explained.

“We’ve been working with paper for many years, and we built our paper (side) as a circular business. We collect paper, recycle it, then make corrugated boxes so that’s in our DNA – and we want to do the same in flexible packaging.”

The desire for circularity can be found in the firm’s target of 100% of its products being designed for recycling by 2025, with a raft of new flexible packaging products featuring post-consumer recycled content.

This includes Saica’s new mono-material, metalised structure released in late January.

“Normally it’s made of several materials, but we made it with just one material,” Miguel added, before revealing how the structure comprises three layers of polyethylene, thus creating a mono-material. It is described by Saica as ‘highly adaptable’ to products, with it able to meet the specific needs and circumstances of clients – whether that be food or non-food products – thanks to its high barriers to water vapour, oxygen, and light.

“It has the same properties (as variations using several materials),” Miguel continued. “It can run in the same way on customers’ lines. Sustainability is important and we want to push in that direction no matter what, but efficiency is also a requirement for customers – it has to run and work in the same way.”

The mix of functionality and sustainability is set to be a key driver in Saica’s innovation over the next few years, with Miguel revealing that a paper variation of the pouch is also in the works, as is the development of coatings and applications to make paper more reusable across wider ranges of products.

“Another area is recycling,” he continued. “Part of the sustainability plan is that more and more material that has been in packaging before – paper or plastic – has to come back to packaging; it’s what we did proudly through our mechanical recycling that allows it to be added into non-food contact packaging.”