Packaging is an integral part of every brand’s success. Along with product formulation and brand equity, functional packaging helps consumers connect with brands and create unique product preferences. Creating innovative dispensing closures to help brands stand out, reshape market categories and deliver on consumers’ convenience and safety has been Aptar’s history for more than 75 years. During the last decade, we have been thoroughly investing in building deeper expertise and partnerships to stay ahead of the increasing demands for sustainable solutions and address the current and upcoming sustainability standards and legislation in every region of the world. With that, our goal is to provide brands with ongoing and distinct opportunities to transform markets with breakthrough sustainable packaging solutions.
Committed to Increasing Plastic Circularity
We partner with the world’s leading brands, and millions of people rely on our products every day. Our purpose — to transform ideas into solutions that improve everyday life — shapes how we meet their evolving expectations and enable consumers, customers, community partners and our employees to join us in creating a more sustainable future together. We collaborate with multiple industry partners and with many of the leading sustainability-focused organizations, such as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, to create dispensing closure solutions that integrate world-class sustainability principles. This, in turn, helps advance our collective progress toward building a safer, healthier, more sustainable future.
Two critical goals we share with many global Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands are to achieve fully recyclable packaging and to incorporate recycled content in packaging by 2025. To that end, as a company, at Aptar we are committed to bringing to market 100% of solutions that are reusable, recyclable or compostable, and to achieving 10% recycled content for our dispensing solutions by 2025 within the personal care, beauty, home care, food and beverage markets.
A critical facilitator of sustainability efforts is staying ahead of and up to date with trends in materials – both sourcing and the creation of the most effective materials for the manufacturing of our closures. This includes proactively removing unnecessary materials from the manufacturing process; using recyclable and recycled materials where possible; staying abreast of the latest recycling, composting and waste management trends, and more. Our product sustainability experts and product developers are continuously working to refine our material selection process to ensure we are using the best materials and the most sustainable manufacturing approach possible – a landscape that is changing daily.
As an example, we have been PureCycle Technology’s preferred converting partner for the last four years, investigating applications for Ultra-Pure Recycled PP (UPRP). Incorporating more post-consumer recycled (PCR) materials within the industry, like UPRP, will allow Aptar, other packaging manufacturers, and our customers the ability to contribute to a more circular economy by reducing the quantity of fossil-based plastic and increasing the use of lower-carbon, recycled materials.
Positioned to Make a Difference
Our goal is to ensure that our customers worldwide can continuously rely on us as a partner for solutions that meet their current and upcoming needs. We rely on a team of highly skilled experts to prioritize solutions that enhance plastic circularity and meet the demands of convenience, safety, shelf appeal and a superior consumer experience. This commitment aligns with our core values as a company and our passion as a responsible, inclusive, global corporate citizen.
One of our notable efforts towards sustainability is our SimpliCycle recyclable flow control valve. Made from a low-density material (density<1), the valve floats during the recycling sorting process, allowing it to be easily separated from the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) stream and then recycled right along with the polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) olefin stream. When assembled into an Aptar closure, SimpliCycle creates a fully recyclable solution for use with PET, PE or PP containers, enabling brands to achieve their fully recyclable packaging goals.
The SimpliCycle recyclable valve has received two prestigious awards: the Best CSR/Sustainability Initiative by the World Food Innovation Awards (WFIA) in 2021, and a Packaging Innovation award by the World Packaging Association (WPO) in 2022. It also received Critical Guidance Recognition from the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) in North America, a recognition that acknowledges technologies or packaging components that aim to solve long-standing problems in sustainable package design. SimpliCycle has been assessed by third parties in Europe, such as Cyclos and RecyClass, confirming its compatibility with the readily available sorting and recycling sectors in the region.
All of Aptar’s products are designed with the people and our planet in mind, including Maestro, a dispensing closure developed for the edible oil market. Maestro is a fully recyclable solution, with a tethered cap and a non-detachable tamper evidence system to increase the likelihood that all parts remain together through the recycling stream. In addition, Purity Lite is the first low-profile tube top in North America. It is a lightweight and recyclable solution that is mono material when paired with HDPE tubes, helping brands reach their goal of fully recyclable packaging.
We are continuously looking for ways to reduce weight and eliminate or minimize the use of additional materials that contribute to plastic waste, such as liners and shrink wrappers.
Slide, our newest linerless development for the sauces and condiments market, features a non-detachable tamper evidence system which allowed us to eliminate the need for a non-recyclable foil liner. With Slide, the consumer can access their product with one opening gesture, delivering a convenient and memorable packaging experience while still protecting product shelf life and reducing the potential for product tampering.
Our portfolio offers these and many more examples of how Aptar can help brands achieve success in multiple areas, primarily in innovation, sustainability and consumer experience.
Helping Brands Make a True Impact
As a result of the expertise and creativity of our engineers and product managers, we have been able to deliver highly innovative solutions to the market.
For example, Aptar Closures and Unilever have recently partnered with Ecological Group, a Brazilian waste management and recovery company, to collect and recycle biaxially-oriented polypropylene (BOPP), a flexible plastic film material, and turn it into a post-consumer recycled resin that can be used to manufacture PP closures. These materials, which would previously have been sent to landfills, can now be collected and directed to a resin supplier, who applies the processing steps of grinding, washing, gas extraction and more to create a novel type of plastic resin pellets. These pellets are now used by Aptar Closures to produce closures for TRESemmé® hair care product lines. This novel method not only creates value for the recycled material but also contributes to a more circular life cycle for BOPP films in Brazil.
Although the world has recently seen a major push to increase plastic circularity coming from brands, consumers and legislators worldwide, sustainable innovation is by no means a new focus for Aptar. We have historically focused on leveraging innovation to create solutions that improve convenience and safety while keeping the people and our planet in mind.
In 2019 we partnered with Ecover, the European market leader in sustainable formulations for household cleaning products, to launch the first dispensing closure in Europe made from 50% post-consumer recycled resin (PCR). Aptar’s comprehensive record in testing sustainable resins and knowledge of resin suppliers was key to Ecover’s decision to collaborate with us. The launch of the custom flip-top closure in PCR resin for Washing Up Liquid products made it one of the first major brands to use PCR resin in its bottles and dispensing closures in Europe.
A few months later, we announced the conversion of all our black stock closures to PCR*, a variety of snap tops, tube tops and disc tops available for use across beauty, personal care, and home care applications in North America. Since that important milestone was achieved, we have been serving multiple personal care and homecare brands with PCR closures in the region.
Furthermore, in 2021 Aptar Closures’ Freyung plant in Germany achieved our first International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS), a chain of custody certification based on the mass balance model, that enables the use of resin from recycled mixed plastics feedstock, or bio-based renewable feedstock, material for closures production. Today, up to 12 Aptar sites in Europe have achieved ISCC PLUS certification, enabling the production and commercialization of sustainably sourced solutions for multiple markets.
While Aptar Closures has made strides toward its aggressive sustainability goals, we are not stopping here. We continue to demonstrate our commitment to designing products and processes with people and the planet in mind. We remain dedicated to innovating solutions while addressing recyclability with the existing plastics recycling stream “at scale and in practice,” converting to lower-carbon resin and designing for circularity. Aptar is dedicated to collaborating with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to achieve its vision for a more circular plastic economy. As the regional ecosystem is key to helping brands achieve their sustainability ambitions, we are members of and collaborate closely with RecyClass in Europe and the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) in North America. We are also partnering on developments with PureCycle and Nextloopp, among others, to accelerate the development and deployment of sustainable solutions to the market.
* Current products are offered in 50-100% PCR.