Environmental impact of pharmaceutical packaging
Although regulatory bodies are asking the industry to reduce their packaging usage, they aren’t making suggestions around how this can be done. Sustainability initiatives are entirely up to the producer.
It seems unlikely that the industry will move away from aluminum foil. Thanks to its superior barrier properties, aluminum foils remain the material of choice for pharma. Impenetrable to moisture, oxygen, and other gases, as well as micro-organisms and light, the aluminium foil helps to keep medication in perfect condition for longer.
But there is a way to reap the rewards of aluminum foil, whilst reducing the environmental impact of packaging production.
“All Hapa machines, when installed on a production line, provide environmental benefits.”
“With Hapa’s in-house pharmaceutical foil printing solution, a customer is equipped with a production line using an on-site machine which is able to print on aluminium foil. It means the pharma company no longer needs aluminium foil deliveries each week and those 12 reels that are going to scrap, no longer exist. That waste is basically eliminated, enabling a leaner production,” says Martelli.
“A pharmaceutical company can also significantly reduce the amount of aluminium foil which they have in their stock, helping to minimise a lot of supply chain difficulties and manage SKU complexity. When you stock only blank foil, you keep a maximum of five reels, with the only difference being their width, leading to just three or four deliveries a year, instead of more than 50.
“Additionally, larger volumes of unprinted foil is less costly to purchase than smaller, customised foil reels.”