Webinars, Pharmaceutical

Mission Possible: Sustainability in Pharmaceutical Primary Packaging

The Mission Possible: Sustainability in Pharmaceutical Primary Packaging webinar was presented at the 2023 CPHI conference by Aptar Pharma’s Dr. Stefan Hellbardt (VP, Business Development, Consumer Health Care Division) and Julien Storz (Director, Business Development, Consumer Health Care Division) with a mission to identify the possible steps that the packaging industry can take to enhance circularity in a measurable way.

Watch Sustainability in Pharmaceutical Primary Packaging Webinar
Speaker(s): Dr. Stefan Hellbardt Julien Storz
29 Feb 2024

The drive for improvements in sustainability are coming from many sources. The webinar will discuss how a trifecta of influences are simultaneously being managed to achieve the desired outcome. From upcoming regulations are tightening the requirements and the industry’s own objectives, to the demands of end consumers, the pharmaceutical packaging industry is rapidly seeking actionable solutions. This webinar discusses the wide spectrum of initiatives needed to achieve sustainability enhancements and takes a look at how Aptar Pharma has taken a leading position in the pharmaceutical packaging industry with respect to recyclability and circularity.

Aptar Pharma’s experts review the current macro environment including the rate of single use plastic consumption, which is at an all-time high, with the ratio of new conventional plastic to recycled plastic feedstock at 15:13.  This represents a huge opportunity to expand plastics circularity through increased plastics recycling. Achieving much higher plastic recycling rates across all industries, helps reduce overall plastic waste. 40% of the conventional plastic consumed in the EU is destined for packaging applications, and without any intervention, the EU is expected to see a 46% increase in plastic packaging waste by 20301. This analysis points to strategies that aim to reduce individual plastic waste and increase the rate at which plastic packaging is actually recycled. The webinar discussion seeks to identify ways to increase the use of renewable or recycled feedstocks towards more circularity in the pharmaceutical packaging industry, and how Aptar Pharma takes responsibility in that approach.

Consumer demand has always had a major impact on how businesses produce products and services.

Dr. Stefan Hellbardt and Julien Storz analyze Aptar Pharma’s own international survey results to confirm that consumers also want to do their part by giving preference to products that reduce plastic consumption, enhance their recyclability, and contribute to a circular economy in their buying decisions. For pharmaceutical packaging companies, this mandate must not be ignored, just as tightening regulations must be adhered to. For example, the European Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive (PPWD) requires that contact sensitive plastic packaging of medical devices (2017/745) and immediate packaging defined in Article 1, point 23 of Directive 2001/83/EC must meet the new regulations regarding recyclability by January 1, 2038. The Design for Recycling (DfR) rating may be determined in part through an online self-assessment tool before being finally rated by a notified body through assessment and testing process. This will help packagers to determine the relative recyclability of their designs using common criteria.  The webinar also discusses how the packaging industry views the achievable pathways available to meet the increasingly strict pharmaceutical packaging regulations, while maintaining product performance and safety using available or innovative new packaging technologies.

Aptar Pharma also convey their views on the key criteria by which success can be measured, for example increased recyclability of packaging solutions. The relevant criteria can provide a pharmaceutical packaging company with data that drives decisions made in operations, packaging design and how consumers interact with the packaging. Our speakers discuss the criteria that push forward their circularity agenda.

The webinar also talks about how Aptar Pharma’s sustainability objectives have manifested in the creation of its Futurity™ brand that is representing its sustainable solutions platform. Futurity™ is an example of how pharmaceutical packaging companies can incorporate sustainability and circularity objectives in product development.  Some of Aptar’s key sustainability initiatives include designing products for recyclability, reducing the product’s CO2 footprint, or use of alternative materials. The speakers go over real-world examples how Aptar Pharma’s Futurity™ solutions contributed to achieving their own goals.  The highly recyclable APF  Futurity™ nasal spray pump, the fully recyclable Proventu mono-material tube closure system and the Micro+  Futurity™ , a fully recyclable mono-material Airless+ dispenser for semi-solid formulations, are all prime examples of what can be achieved. These developments combined with today’s pharma grade renewable feedstock resins, and a near term focus on chemically recycled resins will help Aptar Pharma to achieve reduced CO2 footprints and improved circularity. Aptar Pharma’s Futurity™ portfolio contributes to decarbonization and a more circular approach.

The Mission Possible: Sustainability in Pharmaceutical Primary Packaging webinar provides in-depth insights into how thoughtful data-driven pharmaceutical packaging changes can have a real-world impact on sustainability and contribute to a circular economy. Watch the webinar to learn more about making sustainability and circularity in packaging a reality in the pharmaceutical industry.



  1. European Green Deal: Putting an end to wasteful packaging, boosting reuse and recycling, European Commission, Press Release, November 30, 2022. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_22_7155
  2. Minderoo Foundation’s 2023 Plastic Waste Makers Index – https://www.nespsustainable.edu.au/minderoo-foundations-2023-plastic-waste-makers-index

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