WHAT IS REVERSE ENGINEERING?
Packaging innovations are increasingly based around closed circuits. Engineers are employing the principles of reverse engineering in packaging development. A current and prominent example of this is the stand-up pouch for Frosch liquid soap, produced by Werner & Mertz and Mondi.
So, what is reverse engineering? In the reverse engineering process, packaging development starts at the end of the product cycle and thus ensures a perfect piece of innovative packaging that has been created to fit within a sustainable closed-loop recycling circuit throughout the value-added chain.
At sorting plants, the patented packaging solution proves its worth again. The many years of development work have paid off in terms of sorting and recycling; up until now, there haven’t been many options for sorting or recycling film packaging that is smaller than DIN A4. The separate sorting and reprocessing of the small film pieces is now assured; they don’t have to be fed through the thermal recycling process that is usually used, which is where around 40% of the film in the plastics recycling bin ends up without being put to further use.
Recently, the company Werner & Mertz and Mondi showcased a successful example of reverse engineering and were well-rewarded for it. Werner & Mertz GmbH, a Europe-wide trader, has placed sustainability at the heart of their manufacturing processes for their products for over 150 years.
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
The stand-up pouch implements the “Cradle-to-Cradle®” principle. This innovative stand-up pouch is made of polyethylene, a mono-material, and is 100% recyclable. As the package label can be removed, only around 20% of the total packaging material is printed on, which means that 80% of the packaging can be recycled without any deterioration in quality. What’s so special about this? The entire remaining 20% can also be reused as no glues or adhesives are used in the manufacturing process.
This makes the patented stand-up pouch an international pioneer: It’s a world-first: a packaging solution with a bag that can be
1.completely reused in its entirety (recycle),
2.Compared to other bottles that have the same capacity, it contains 70% less packaging material (reduce) and
Due to the refill units that are on offer, the original packaging can be used forever (reuse).
3.And that’s not all... As an added plus, the original Frosch packaging is also made entirely from old plastic. An independent company, Interseroh Dienstleistungs GmbH, officially confirmed the optimal recyclability of this packaging.
In 2020, Werner & Mertz GmbH plans to produce its entire Frosch pouch range in line with this innovative concept and will also expand it into its green care PROFESSIONAL product line.