RKW Group expands investments in sustainable film solutions

Corporate Sustainability Packaging

Mannheim, Germany, December 14, 2021 – The RKW Group focuses on the requirements of its customers and is investing in modern facilities at several sites in order to be able to offer future-proof, sustainable solutions. In the coming year, the company will focus on so-called MDO packaging for the food industry. With these innovative solutions, the RKW Group is making a measurable contribution to strengthening the circular economy, because MDO films are 100 percent recyclable.

RKW has many years of experience with MDO technology and is now transferring this into sustainable and safe packaging solutions for food. To this end, the globally active film specialist from Mannheim is expanding its production capacities. With investments in the mid-double-digit million euro range, RKW is not only strengthening its respective sites with new equipment and the right solutions, but also enabling its customers to help shape their own growth.

"We offer materials that meet the needs for lower carbon footprint, higher recyclability as well as the use of more recycled plastics," said Mussie Berhane, Vice President Sales & Marketing Packaging & Industrial.

More capacity for MDO films

There is great demand for sustainable plastic packaging, especially in the beverage and food packaging sector. RKW is bringing together its portfolio of solutions for sustainable food packaging under the RKW Horizon brand, which are fully recyclable and meet all hygiene and food protection requirements. A new nine-layer extrusion line is currently being built for this purpose at the Petersaurach site in order to significantly expand production capacities. The line will be able to produce under full load by mid-2022.

Another lever for expanding the circular economy is the use of chemically recycled or bio-based resins. Since RKW is ISCC+ certified, the company can use these sustainable raw materials and offer MDO films that retain all the properties of virgin raw materials.

Multipacks become greener

Different applications require distinct solutions. For outer packaging for beverages, so-called multipacks, the primary goal is to use as much recycled plastic as possible without sacrificing properties such as stability and printability.

At the Saint-Frères site in Ville le Marclet, France, RKW is therefore renewing its machinery. Modern machines, such as the five-shift extrusion line planned for 2023, are much better able to absorb the unavoidable quality fluctuations in the plastics to be recycled and at the same time to reduce production scrap; they are also more energy-efficient than older lines. Multipack films made from recycled plastic from RKW are already used successfully by many global beverage producers.

Climate protection through plastic bags

Cement is an indispensable building material in the construction industry, but it is also a significant emitter of CO2. Even its production requires a great deal of energy, which is mostly provided by fossil fuels, while at the same time the process itself releases large quantities of CO2.

Efficient and responsible handling of the building material is therefore important; it is imperative that cement is protected from moisture before it is used. Filling it in plastic bags like RKW ProVent permanently protects cement from this, even under unfavorable storage conditions -- the water vapor barrier is 40 times more effective than paper-based packaging.

Moreover, the innovative packaging solution consists of only one material, polyethylene. It can therefore be fully recycled. A new production facility for industrial packaging solutions at RKW's Echte, Germany, site can also use significantly more recyclates.

In this way, RKW is actively contributing to climate protection with targeted investments.