Sustainability in the time of COVID

Welcome to the latest edition of SIPA SPEAKS. In this issue, we look at some hot issues, and how SIPA is addressing them. But first, a few words about the hottest issue of all, COVID-19. All of our lives have been turned upside-down by the pandemic. The expression “new normal” has been used before, but it is clear this time that the paradigm really has shifted: the world has changed. On a business level, since the beginning of the year, many concerns have closed, and some of them will not re-open. Through strength of purpose and a commitment to its customers around the world, SIPA has continued to operate, but not always in the same way as before. SIPA has become ‘smarter’ than ever. It has developed new ways to implement installations and provide technical service for example – ways that in all probability will continue to be of use even after the pandemic has passed.

Since the very beginning of this crisis, SIPA has been collaborating with its various sources of supply to ensure the provision of necessary parts and technical upgrades to its customers. Using its partnerships with major logistics companies, SIPA has done everything it can to minimize the effects resulting from the intensification of controls at customs and delays in logistics. And it has developed a smart, remote approach to follow the installation of machines and systems. This is possible because our experts have developed special procedures that cover all installation steps, from the unloading of the machine parts through to the assembly and connection of all the functional groups. We are making maximum use of advanced fixed and mobile software applications and IT tools to ensure success in execution. Never far away is our motto. Even in this difficult time, SIPA intends to provide the best possible service and support for all our customers and business partners, wherever they are.

On a separate level, SIPA has also been looking at how its technology can help consumers get through the day more safely. One of the effects of the pandemic has been increased emphasis on having clean hands. Many people have turned to the use of sanitizing liquids in small bottles where regular soap and water is inconvenient. SIPA’s smaller ECS SP single-stage injection-stretch-blow molding machines are proving ideal for production of these containers.

Pressure to reduce, recycle and reuse plastics packaging continues to rise. Litter is a blight on society and we have to find more ways to prevent it. Single-use PET bottles are in activists’ cross-hairs, but in Europe at least, recovery rates are not so bad. In 2018, for example, according to a report commissioned by several industry groups, 1.78 million tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles were collected and sorted for recycling. There is a long way to go, but it is progress.

SIPA has for many years been active in the “reduce” element of course, developing technologies for lightweighting, and it has also been putting increased emphasis on use of recycled PET (rPET) in containers made on its equipment. In this issue, we look at the best ways to make high-quality containers with rPET, whether it is by using ground-breaking injection-compression molding technology integrated with recycling equipment (Xtreme Renew), or more conventional systems with special features designed specifically for processing rPET.

Sustainability also calls for energy efficiency. Systems integration can play an important role here, which is one reason why it is the subject of our FOCUS ON feature. Integration reduces the need for heating and cooling, and it also cuts the bills by raising productivity and reducing space requirements—all while allowing highly customized packaging solutions. You can find out how SIPA is able to integrate everything from pellet to pallets loaded with filled, capped and labelled containers; you may even be interested in a highly innovative system that SIPA developed for ISBM production of bottles, not in PET but in polystyrene – possibly a world-first; and on the reuse element of sustainability, see how one customer has integrated production of multiple-use PET bottles.

We wish you a good read!

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