“The manufacture of packaging using recycled raw materials”. This has been the focus of the business model,, since the beginning in 2016, of the company Ondupet. Its Quality Manager, Rafael López, reveals the company’s sustainability and innovation plans.
1.-How was the company founded and what are the main characteristics that define it today?
The organization was founded in 2016 by CL GRUPO INDUSTRIAL, as an expansion project for its business unit in the packaging sector and with the aim of offering alternatives and comprehensive, challenging, innovative and environmentally friendly solutions for thermoformed containers of PET thermoplastic material for food packaging.
From its inception, a clear commitment and strong investment was made in technologies that would allow us to manufacture packaging using recycled raw materials, RPET, which allows us to manufacture packaging from other packaging, contributing to the circular economy model.
Currently, we are one of the largest European producers of packaging made with 100% recycled flakes, with the maximum guarantees of quality and food safety, according to European regulations, BRCGS protocol and EFSA authorization, for the agro-industrial sector and food industry: fruit and fresh vegetables, fresh eggs, pastry, biscuits, pastries and bakery products, fresh, refrigerated, salted or smoked and processed meat and fish.
2.-How does the RETRAY certification fit into your sustainability plans?
Ondupet, in its circular economy strategy and commitment to the environment, began its journey together with the Ecosense Foundation in 2019, obtaining its first certificate. In 2022, it was one of the first organizations at a European level to achieve the RETRAY Process Certification in accordance with the EN 15343 standard.
The RETRAY certification fits perfectly into Ondupet’s sustainability plans for several reasons:
– Commitment to the environment: Ondupet is a company dedicated to the manufacture of packaging, so obtaining the RETRAY certification demonstrates its commitment to environmental protection and sustainable development.
– The RETRAY certification ensures that Ondupet’s products and processes comply with the highest environmental standards. This implies that the company is governed by responsible practices, such as the efficient use of natural resources, the reduction of emissions, proper waste management and the promotion of the circular economy.
– Differentiation in the market, improvement of the corporate image and stand out as a company committed to sustainability. This can be a determining factor in attracting customers looking for products with a lower environmental impact.
3.-What other innovation projects have you developed or are you developing?
Ondupet has developed several innovative projects in the field of sustainability and the circular economy. Some examples of these projects are:
– Ondupet has focused on using recycled materials in the manufacture of its packaging, most of its references being made with 100% recycled raw materials. In addition, since its inception, internal recycling technologies and systems have been implemented to take advantage of the waste generated during the production process. This helps to reduce the demand for natural resources and promote the circular economy.
– Advanced technologies have been incorporated into its production chain to optimize the use of resources and minimize waste. For example, they use automated control systems to measure and adjust the amount of raw material needed, which reduces energy and material consumption.
– Daily work is done on the eco-design of products, so that each time they adapt better to the current recycling flows in the value chain.
These innovative projects demonstrate Ondupet’s commitment to sustainability and its constant search for more environmentally friendly solutions. Through these initiatives, the company contributes to reducing waste, conserving resources and promoting sustainable practices in the packaging industry.
4.-What do you think about the media fight against plastic and about the plastic tax?
As a company in the plastics sector, Ondupet is aware of the growing public concern about the negative environmental impact of single-use plastic products. Hence, from the design of our business model, we opted for a material whose composition would allow the manufacture of our packaging using recycled raw materials and that, in turn, these products were recyclable, allowing them to be given life again and again; Following the circular economy model, if there is a material that offers these possibilities, it is PET.
This allows us to have a privileged position in the packaging market, although we must continue to contribute to providing increasingly sustainable solutions, be more transparent and improve the flows and channels of information to the consumer and society in general, to that they understand the virtues and advantageous properties of this plastic material, which allows us to improve hygiene and food storage conditions, extend its useful life and, therefore, reduce food waste. All this with a low carbon footprint compared to other materials on the market.
Having said the above, it is of vital importance to continue working on improving the management of plastic waste and recycling chains, from the industry, society, governments, organizations and other actors involved to improve the availability of these resources and find increasingly sustainable alternatives.
Regarding the tax on plastic, although it has been a challenge at the administrative level, since we have had to provide support and adapt quickly to the concerns and issues of customers in the value chain and to design and apply management according to the demands of Law 7/2022, of April 8, on waste and contaminated soils for a circular economy, it has not been of great importance at a financial, technical and production level, since, as mentioned above, our business model is focused, from the start, to the manufacture of packaging using recycled raw materials.
To give greater transparency at all levels, in terms of composition, traceability and use of recycled materials, we are currently in the process of additionally certifying ourselves by an accredited external entity, in accordance with the UNE-EN-15343 standard, for recycled plastic content used in the production process.
5.-What objectives are set for 2023?
The highest priority objectives, which we set ourselves in the short and medium term as an organization, are closely related to sustainability, the circular economy and respect for the environment:
– Reduce the carbon footprint: Ondupet is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with its production and supply chain. This can be achieved through improvements in energy efficiency, the use of renewable energy and the optimization of logistics.
– Promote and participate in campaigns to promote recycling and reuse of packaging. This would reduce the generation of waste and promote the circular economy.
– Promote education and awareness about the importance of sustainability and the circular economy, through information campaigns, collaborations with organizations and participation in related events.
6.-What are the prospects for the sector in the coming years?
In my opinion, the sector dedicated to the recycling of PET plastic packaging has promising prospects in the coming years. As awareness of the importance of caring for the environment and reducing plastic waste grows, the demand for companies like Ondupet will increase.
We expect there to be increased demand for recycled PET plastic packaging from the industry in general, as consumers are looking for and demanding more sustainable and environmentally friendly options.
Additionally, governments in many countries are implementing stricter regulations on plastic waste management, forcing companies to look for more sustainable alternatives. Ondupet and the rest of the companies in the sector will benefit from these regulations since they offer an effective and environmentally friendly solution for the recycling of PET plastic containers.
On the other hand, it is expected that the development of new recycling technologies and techniques will allow a more efficient and profitable process. This will improve competitiveness and attract more customers interested in recycling PET plastic packaging.
In summary, the Ondupet sector has good prospects for the coming years, since the demand for recycled PET plastic packaging is increasing, driven by greater social awareness about the environment.