Sustainability Awards 2021 Finalist Interview: RENEW by Packaging Europe
RENEW is an air cushion made out of 50% post-consumer mechanically recycled (PCR) plastic and is 100% recyclable. Air cushions are used in e-commerce to void fill and block & brace products for optimal protection. RENEW is developed as a collaboration between Pregis, the manufacturer of the air cushion and GCR Group, the producer of high-quality recycled polyolefins. Both companies are committed to minimize the impact on the environment and develop products that contribute to a circular economy.
With this eco-design solution, we managed to reduce the use of virgin polymer and achieve a high content of PCR in the product, thus reducing the environmental footprint of the growing e-commerce market. The innovative aspects of RENEW air cushions are:
• Give a second life to consumer waste and contribute to circularity. It is a unique product where half of the materials used come from post-consumer waste. This material, produced by GCR under the brand CICLIC, is PCR EuCertPlast certified.
• Maintain full functionality providing optimal protection of products, even though it is commonly acknowledged that PCR plastics are less performing and show less quality consistency than virgin polymers. Pregis incorporation of Ciclic PCR in its multilayer extrusion process proves to be successfuland even down gauge the original virgin polymer structure without loss of performance.
In Solidarity | Em solidaredade
From GCR Group we are very sorry for the fires that caused, up until today's latest informations, 45 victims and devastated thousands of hectares of forest and vegetation in both Spain and Portugal.
We stand in solidarity with the Portuguese and Spanish people. From now on, the only thing we wish to be grey is not the sky filled in with smoke but in clouds filled in with rainwater.
The environmental commitment of GCR Group leads us to produce materials that live in harmony with nature and its resources. In front of such an overwhelming and savage attack to the environment, we bind ourselves to collaborate in the reforestation of the affected areas, as soon as the help programs are released.
We want present and future generations to keep enjoying nature.
Desde GCR Group lamentamos a onda de incêndios que causou pelo menos 45 vitimas mortais e arrasou milhares de hectares de floresta e vegetação tanto em Espanha como em Portugal.
Estamos solidários com o povo português e espanhol e desejamos que o fogo termine rapidamente e que o único que deixe o céu obscuro sejam as nuvens carregadas de chuva.
O compromisso medioambiental de GCR Group leva nos a produzir productos que vivam em equilibro com a natureza e com os recursos que nos brinda. Por isso, frente a um ataque tão devastador e selvagem contra o meio ambiente, comprometemo-nos a colaborar com a reflorestação dos montes e bosques assim que se articulem acções concretas de ajuda.
Queremos que as gerações presentes e futuras possam continuar a disfrutar da natureza.
Our news for the K2016: Sweetening the outcome with innovative coatings
We are looking forward to share what’s new on the GCR Group!
As the date it is getting closer, these days we will be anticipating some important events for you to record in your agenda. Today, we want to share with you our collaboration in the conference "Sweetening the outcome with innovative coatings" that will be part of Dow Tech Talks.
Conference: “SWEETENING THE OUTCOME WITH INNOVATIVE COATINGS”.
When: 20th of October, 3p.m. There will be a second call, the date will come soon.
Where: Dow booth (Hall 8a K48).
What: Victor Oliva from GCR Group together with Carolina Gregorio, from Dow, will give a conference about how Granic 626 for Extrusion Coating was designed and how it works. These Tech Talks are organized by Dow Chemicals.
With one billion more mouths to feed by 2050, food is a critical resource and food preservation is key. This is driving the need for more convenient and sustainable packaging to ensure food is kept fresh for our tables.
True innovation means going one step further. Not necessarily doing what has never been done before; but doing it better.
That’s the ‘sweet spot’. And when it comes to finding new solutions, two minds are always better than one.
This conviction is shared by both Dow and GCR, a European leading company in developing innovative compounds and mineral masterbatches.
This is why, when GCR came to Dow looking to create a new solution for extrusion coating for a wide variety of applications, from consumer food packaging such as sugar sachets to raffia waterproof coatings, Dow knew it had found a great partner.
“The approach was simple: combine GCR’s patented compounding technology and expertise in mineral coating with Dow’s technical expertise in extrusion coating to bring a new innovative solution to the coatings market with improved cost efficiency,” says Carolina Gregorio, Marketing Manager, Dow.
Victor Oliva, GCR R&D Manager, couldn’t agree more, “Both teams had the taste for innovation and the drive to make it happen, but what really accelerated the success of this partnership was Pack Studios. Having a space to collaborate and being able to see how resins worked on existing machinery lines sparked new ideas and pushed our capabilities to new levels.”
The new combined mineral compound and extrusion coating solution, Granic 626, enabled by Dow's advanced extrusion coating resins, is cost-efficient and optimizes packaging materials used, reducing the carbon footprint in final applications – allowing brands to improve their product life cycle.
“We developed this solution in less than a year,” Cosme Llop, Lead Scientist at Dow enthuses. “We managed to succeed where others had previously failed, and without exorbitant costs.”
If you ask either Dow or GCR, they both agree: success is sweet, but it’s even better when it is shared with others.
“Both teams had the taste for innovation and the drive to make it happen, but what really accelerated the success of this partnership was Pack Studios."
VICTOR OLIVA, R&D MANAGER, GCR
Do you want to know more about this story? Come to the conference and visit us at Hall 8a K27.
GCR Group is getting ready for K2016 Show
After three years, Düsseldorf is going to be the capital of Plastics and Rubbers again.K2016, one of the biggest event for the plastic industry, is going to take place from19th to 26th of October in Messe Düsseldorf.
GCR Group attended the Fair for the first time in 2013. This year, the company relieve the experience where it is going to show the new products developed since last K2013. These new products are hitting new markets such as industrial and food packaging and healthcare applications.
Due to the assistance of GCR Group to K2013 Show, the company has increased its international presence, reaching now more than 100 countries.
You will find GCR Group at Hall 8a K27. For more information, check out K2016official website on here.
Stronger, thinner garbage films using Granic1522 masterbatch
Granic, a leader in the production of plastic concentrates with mineral fillers, has developed a new high performance masterbatch using Vistamaxx performance polymers from ExxonMobil Chemical. The new Granic1522 masterbatch uses Vistamaxx polymers as a carrier resin for calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to deliver significant performance and processing benefits.
High filler loading
ExxonMobil Chemical demonstrated that by using a Vistamaxx polymers based CaCO3 masterbatch in film formulations instead of a typical linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) or polypropylene (PP) - based masterbatch, mineral filler loadings could be increased without sacrificing key mechanical properties. Also highlighted were the benefits for end use applications, such as high density polyethylene (HDPE) shopper bags, HDPE garbage bags and PP raffia (slit) tape and bags. These benefits include increasing the concentration of recycled material, making the bags thinner, or improving performance, such as dart impact resistance.
With such a strong value proposition for customers, Granic developed a new high-performance masterbatch, Granic1522, which uses Vistamaxx polymers as a carrier resin. "Granic1522 masterbatch has significant benefits. Using Vistamaxx as a carrier resin in the masterbatch enables increased productivity, reduced energy consumption and improved mechanical properties", said Victor Oliva, Commercial Director and R&D Manager of GCR Group.
Since its introduction, Granic1522 masterbatch has been well accepted in the market place and the company has been successful in generating new sales. One customer, a leading producer of polyethylene (PE) packaging materials for the converting industry, is producing stronger, thinner garbage bag films by adding Granic1522 to its existing HDPE resin formulation. The new masterbatch also delivers better processing and lower costs.
Adding Granic1522 masterbatch to the existing HDPE resin formulation delivers the following key advantages:
- Enhanced dart impact despite thinner film structure
- Improved thickness tolerance for better processing and less material use
- Cost saving opportunities
The commercial garbage bag film produced by this customer which includes 20% Granic1522, exhibits twice the impact resistance and it is 16% thinner than the original film.
As well as performance improvements, the thickness tolerance of the film is improved. A more consistent film thickness leads to better, smoother processing that requires less adjustments.
The company also benefits from significantly lower costs because, optimizing the formulation using Granic1522 masterbatch, uses less material through thinner films."Our customer is delighted with the new film formulation as it provides a stronger, thinner film with better overall garbage bag performance for consumers", said Oliva. "It is an innovative solution that aligns with their wish to become a market leader in certain defined market segments".
"We are very excited about the market potential for Granic1522 and are targeting key applications", said Oliva. "These include shopper and garbage bags, raffia tapes and bags, and thermoforming/blow moulding where increased filler loadings and improved toughness can make a big difference to customers".
IDE magazine wrote about the sustainable solutions for packaging of GCR Group
Here you find the English version of the article "Sustainable packaging with Granic" which was published in IDE magazine (Spanish version on here):
Nowadays there is more plastic in the packaging than in the bag used to carry the goods itself. Food packaging protects the product and extends its shelf life but generates plastic waste. Due to this factor, some companies have created sustainable plastic with alternative materials, like Granic, which provides more sustainability while improving production rates and reducing costs.
GCR Group, located in Spain, manufactures Granic, a range of sustainable mineral masterbatches for the plastic industry. Granic works with all types of polyolefins and styrenics.
Mineral fillers are widely used in films, BOPP, paper-like, bottles, packages or sheets for thermoforming. Granic has an excellent polymer dispersion which allows it to be added in high percentages, depending on the final application. Its formula is only 25% dependent on oil – minerals (calcium carbonate or talc) – is the remaining 75%. Therefore, the price is cheaper than virgin polymer and more stable in time. Due to the mineral high thermoconductivity, the material heats up and cool down easier, reducing energy consumption and cycle time, which improves the production. Finally, mechanical properties remain invariable or even enhanced, as with strength, for instance.
Better barriers and high transparency with Granic
Water vapour (WVTR) and oxygen transmissions (OTR) are important factors regarding food packaging because they have a direct impact to the contained food shelf life. As it is seen in Figure 1, barrier properties are better when mineral fillers are used because the particles constrain water vapour and oxygen on its way through the packaging. The example of the Figure 1 is a film with 30% of Granic® in middle layer which means an 18% of the total. Granic® has achieved a decreasing of 31% the OTR and 37% WVTR.
Another important factor in food packaging is migration. GCR Group has developed different masterbatch talc-based Granic® products. Talc is a chemically inert mineral that does not react with acid or alkaline liquids and does not generate migration problems.
However, the biggest issue about mineral masterbatches in food packaging is the lost of clearness due to the particle insertion, as many of them are transparent. To avoid that opacity, GCR Group has developed a high-transparency special range of products in which mineral particles are placed in such a way that light diffusion coefficient is increased. The results – in figure 2 – prove how the same film as in Figure 1 (18% of Granic) has a similar haze as virgin polymers.
Inspired by nature
GCR Group also produces Ciclic, polyethylene and polypropylene post-industrial and compounds that can be fully used in film production, alveolar sheets and other package without food contact.
GCR Group’s developments are not only good for producers and products but also for the environment. The raw materials, the low energy consumption technology, the renewable energy used and the company location – less than 30 km from 95% of suppliers – converts Granic and Ciclic in the lowest carbon footprint materials of all the petrochemical compounds.
Granic is featured in the August issue of Compounding World Magazine
The article "Functional fillers: making modifications with minerals" goes into depth regarding ecological and technical advantages of the use of fillers such as Granic. Mineral fillers reduce the carbon footprint of the final product whilst improving mechanical properties.
Compounding World Magazine is a monthly magazine written specifically for polymer compounders and masterbatch producers around the globe. It is published electronically by Applied Market Information, the leading provider of market intelligence and analysis for the global compounding and masterbatch industries.Compounding World Magazine is the most widely read in the plastic sector.
You can read the article here.
GCR Group at 'Agricultural Film 2014' International Conference
Taking place on the 15th -17th September is the 7th AMI international conference on Agricultural Film. Beatriz Navascues from the Technical Service & Development Department at GCR Group, will be hosting a conference on the last day in relation to Sustainability & Recycling Session entitled "Environmentally friendly plastic solutions for agricultural ﬁlms" where Granic® and Ciclic® benefits for the agricultural film will be explained.
Over the past 60 years, agricultural output and productivity has significantly increased and plastic agricultural film for silage, mulch and greenhouse applications has made substantial contribution to this development. The use of plastic films has been notable in the horticultural industry, as well as in preserving and improving quality of silage, contributing to continuously increasing yields. Plastic films have also enabled the extension of cultivation in terms of the growing season and the location through the use of protective mulch and greenhouse films.
For players in the market the business is a challenging one with many conflicting trends. On the one hand, population growth and rising per capita calorie intake demands greater food production; on the other, the amount of farmland and number of farms is declining. While plastic films can undoubtedly contribute to improved efficiency and output, film waste and disposal concerns are growing.
Agricultural Film 2014 discusses the above issues and presents research findings and possible solutions to the problems faced by today's protected agriculture. It brings together agricultural and horticultural cover specifiers, researchers, manufacturers and the supply chain to the industry and provides a forum to network with professionals active in this challenging industry.
You can see full Conference Programme here.
Conclusions about K2013 show
K2013 closed its doors last 23rd of October. During eight days, professionals of the plastic sector have been showing their last news and products. Chairman of the Exhibitors’ Advisory Board for K 2013 Ulrich Reifenhäuser was extremely pleased with the results and affirmed that “very concrete negotiations were held and contracts were signed. (…)We very confidently anticipate strong post-fair business and expect continuing growth in our sector.”
If we take a look at the numbers, K2013 received 218.000 trade visitors from well over 120 countries and 3,200 exhibitors taking part. Even that those visitors are 2% less than in 2010, the number of exhibitors increased in more than one hundred. The positive date is the rise of international presence, 58% of the visitors came from abroad. You will find more numbers on here.
For 42% of trade visitors the presentations of raw material producers where of prime interest as also happened with the solutions for saving resources and energy efficiency. Granic and Ciclic fit well with the visitor’s interests as both are sustainable plastic solutions environmentally friendly and cost-effective.
K Trade Fair website began its countdown that will finish next 19th of October 2016, when K show will begin again.