ProSweets Cologne 2022 has announced that it will be placing the focus on “sustainable packaging” for the snacks and sweets industry.

Organisers state that this is in response to the industry’s interest in switching over to eco-friendly materials such as paper or recyclable mono films and related packing processes.

The sustainable packaging of the wide range of sweets and snacks not only demands innovative packing materials, but also highly flexible machines to process them. Therefore, packaging is playing a more vital role than ever in the battle to win over the favour of the consumers at the point of sale.

The show organisers believe that recycling-friendly design will become of ‘key importance’ in the advertising and communications segment once the EU’s “Green Deal” comes into force – a trend which will be reflected at ProSweets Cologne 2022 in Cologne.

For example, a survey carried out in March on behalf of the German Packaging Institute (dvi), found that the consumers in Germany consider packaging to be more sustainable than ever.

In addition, 44% claimed that packaging had progressed considerably in terms of its environmental friendliness.

The Executive Director of dvi, Kim Cheng, emphasised that in spite of all environmental progress, the core function of the packaging has not been neglected.

He said: “Packaging is becoming more sustainable while at the same time fulfilling its purpose more efficiently. It is hygienic, protects the goods from damage and perishing, make them last longer, transportable and safe to use.”

For the exhibiting companies at the Cologne fair grounds, it is therefore decisive whether and how the change-over to sustainable packing materials can be made without compromising the functionality and convenience.

In the meantime, paper or cardboard is being implemented instead of plastic where possible. The innovative paper solutions feature integrated hot sealing possibilities and moisture barriers against steam

“What was still inconceivable for the most suppliers a few years ago, has developed much further in the meantime because more and more fibre-based packing alternatives with barrier functions are replacing plastics,” Peter Désilets, Executive Director of Pacoon GmbH, also confirmed.

As a partner of Koelnmesse, the Munich agency for packaging design and sustainability is presenting solutions for sweets and snacks in the scope of a special exhibition in Hall 10.1. High precision in connection with the machine

The packaging machine builders are also faced with a challenge. They must unite the technological and economical aspects with each other while finding alternatives for plastic.

Tailor-made modular systems, the consistent implementation of robotics and flexible retrofitting that allows adaptions to new packaging materials are paving the way towards more sustainability.

In line with this, Theegarten-Pactec will be demonstrating in Cologne how producers of bars can process their products in tubular bags made from paper-based packing materials. Theegarten has further processed the modular high-performance packaging machine responsible for this in such a way that it can complete the job using either cold or hot sealing processes.

Practice is however also demonstrating that paper-based alternatives for stand-up pouches and flat pouches, deep-drawn trays, shells, and blisters are still in the early stages of development.

Paper only tolerates little tension during an automated packing process and can tear more easily. The use of plastic is still necessary when it comes down to guaranteeing a long sell-by date through especially tight packaging.

Therefore, mono films unite product protection with recyclability, because their single-origin material allows the plastic to be reused.

From 30 January to 2 February 2022, visitors of ProSweets Cologne can learn about new and further developments the packaging industry is working on and which challenges must be mastered in terms of technology and sustainability.

Exhibitors are presenting a huge range of solutions for sustainable packaging.