UFlex, India’s largest multinational in flexible packaging and a global polymer sciences corporation, has partnered with Mespack, an international manufacturer of flexible packaging, end-of-line and soluble pods equipment for consumer-packaged goods companies serving the world’s leading brands, and Hoffer Plastics, an industry leader and innovator in the custom injection molding industry, to develop a sustainable solution that will ease out the complexities of recycling attached with hot-fill pouches. To address the issue of full recyclability of pouches, the three companies have jointly developed a turnkey solution that enables 100% recyclability of hot-fill pouches with its new mono-polymer structure and also the spout caps, bringing many ecologically responsible brands closer to reaching their sustainability goals.

Commonly, hot-fill pouches are used to pack ready-to-eat food segment allowing sterile packaging of a range of fresh, cooked or semi-cooked food, juices and drinks, and is used as an alternative to traditional industrial canning methods. The utility of hot-fill pouch has reportedly outshined the expectations of consumers due to the functionality of easy storage and direct consumption of food content after heating it within the pack itself.

The newly designed Recycle Ready Single Material PP-based Hot-fill Pouch combines the strength of OPP & CPP layered laminate structure designed by UFlex — offering enhanced barrier properties, easy heat seal-ability and longer shelf life for unrefrigerated food storage; sealed with patented closures from Hoffer Plastics’ in the form of tamper evident strong seal spout caps; and produced with mechanical integrity of Mespack HF-series fill and seal machine that allows efficient fill through the spout of pre-made pouches.

The new design offers 100% easy recyclability of the laminate and spout cap as well within existing PP recycling streams and infrastructures. These pouches manufactured at UFlex India plant will be exported to American markets and will be majorly used for packing edible products such as baby food, food puree, pet food, etc. With the Mespack technology, the HF Series is completely developed and designed to work with recyclable materials, and due to the continuous through the spout filling, up to 15% of the headspace is reduced by eliminating the wave effect. 

“With our future-ready approach that focusses on circular driven packaging, we are trying to offer products that widen our sustainable footprint in the ecosystem," says Luc Verhaak VP of sales at UFlex Packaging. “Designing with mono-materials, like with this recycle-ready PP hot-fill spouted pouch, creates value for the recycling industry and helps in the development of a better recycling infrastructure. This co-creation with Mespack and Hoffer Plastics is an accomplishment backed by collective vision for a sustainable future, excellence in packaging and it also marks the beginning of new opportunities in future that can be tapped with our respective fortes.”

“One of our Mespack promises is to focus on developing innovative equipment for sustainable packaging solutions to preserve the environment and reduce the carbon footprint," says Guillem Clofent, managing director of Mespack. “To do so, we follow three main strategies- Reduce usage of raw materials, replace them with more recyclable solutions, and adapt our technology to these new recyclable, biodegradable or compostable materials. In this case, thanks to the collaboration between key strategic partners, our customers already have a recyclable solution for pre-made pouches contributing to the circular economy, helping to achieve their goals at the same time.  

"Sustainability has always been a critical focus and driving force at Hoffer Plastics," says Alex Hoffer, CRO at Hoffer Plastics Corporation. "Now more than ever, creating products that are fully recyclable and circularly designed from the onset are not just in demand, but will shape the future of our industry and the environment.  We're proud to work with innovative, responsible partners like the UFlex and Mespack teams in leading the way forward".