Practiced Sustainability –
Reduction of Film Thickness (Downgauging)
One key approach to reduce the environmental impact of our products while maintaining or even improving their properties is the reduction of the film thickness. This process is called downgauging.
RKW is applying successfully the downgauging technology over years, with significant reductions of film thicknesses.
Thinner films result in less energy consumption, transportation weight, packaging material and impact during the subsequent production steps.
Raw materials generate the largest share of the total CO2 consumption for typical extrusion products. This means that raw material savings by downgauging result in:
- Protection of natural resources
- Direct reduction in CO2 emissions during product manufacturing
- Additional reduction in CO2 emissions during transport (raw materials, products, product life phase)
- Higher material efficiency helps saving resources
Downgauging example backsheet film, 60% reduction from 1996 to 2019
Product Example: Agriculture
RKW provides sustainable agricultural solutions for maximum efficiency, forage protection and conservation.
- Sustainable silage film Polydress® O2 Barrier 2in1: innovative combination of sealing and protection film
- 40% less raw materials compared to conventional products is required for production, thus saving resources
- 50% less packaging material results in reduced weight, less transportation, less waste and disposal
- Barrier films for efficient forage protection
- Horticultural films for higher yields and better plant quality
- Energy-saving greenhouse films: air-bubble technology with high thermal insulation
- Sustainable mulch films (barrier films for soil disinfection, biodegradable mulch films)
All RKW agricultural products are 100% recyclable.
RKW participates in recycling initiatives where farmers can dispose their used agricultural films and nets.
Bioplastics refer to plastic products that are based on renewable and/or degradable resources.
RKW has extensive experience with established and new bioplastics and believes that renewable raw materials will gain significance in the future.
Bio-based polymers do not have an ecological advantage per se; this needs to be individually evaluated for every application. In particular, the degradability must represent an additional application benefit.
The term “Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)” refers to the evaluation of the entire product life, rather than just focusing on the production process. This ranges from the provision of raw materials and manufacturing to the downstream stages of transport, use and disposal.
This includes the use of resources, emissions in the atmosphere, water and soil, recyclability.
In all phases of a product’s life from its inception to the end of its life, RKW strives to protect natural resources, to reduce emissions, to avoid waste and environmental pollution, and to optimize logistics.