Irplast: more sustainability means more growth and more innovation. A new private equity fund is investing to ensure success.
Sustainability is at the centre of all production choices. Latest new products: “Floor Tape”, the tape for social distancing and two new S-BOPP films, both from renewable sources, certified ISCC.
The “Green” innovation is a developing and driving force for IRPLAST, which in the first quarter of 2020 registered a 15% increase in orders, exceeding the growth targets forecast at the beginning of the year. An integral part of the food supply chain, with its production of packaging for food & beverage, IRPLAST has never interrupted its production during the covid-19 emergency, succeeding in satisfying the large increase in demand. The innovative application of traditional solutions has enabled the company to create in record time an adhesive tape for usage in social distancing. Sustained growth rates and reinforced governance have strengthened the development strategy – focused on significant investments in R&D, diversification and emphasis on tailor-made solutions – anticipating an increase in production and income for the coming months. IRPLAST is one of the best known producers in the world of simultaneously bi-oriented BOPP film, of manufacturing of printed adhesive tapes, of wrap-around labels (for the food, beverage dairy, personal & home care markets) and also for multi-pack solutions.
Revenue growth and profitability targets are encouraged by a new capital structure: the takeover of the company by a UK investment fund is in its final stages, which will provide liquid capital and new opportunities for investments. A governance model shared by the company managers (all confirmed in their respective roles), a solid capital and financial position and an industrial vision reinforced by further development potential open up promising new scenarios.
IRPLAST FLOOR TAPE
In response to the covid-19 emergency developed, Floor Tape has emerged, according to requests received both from the foreign and Italian market and implemented urgently, to serve as a removable floor-applied warning tape. It is a self-adhesive solution designed to be easily applied on floors, ensuring, even several days after its application excellent removability without damage to surfaces or release of residues and halos. The solvent-free adhesive mass, avoiding the release of unpleasant odours into the environment, makes it particularly suitable for indoor use, in full safety. Thanks to its structure the product is easily customizable with texts, graphics and colours and is resistant even to aggressive cleaning cycles, carried out with cleansers and industrial systems. The adhesive tape, designed to delimit and demarcate specific areas to guarantee social distancing is intended for commercial establishments, offices, production areas and public places with high usability, such as transport, stores, public buildings and places of culture and worship .
IRPLAST offers a solution for reducing CO2 emissions and a strategy for building a circular economy
IRPLAST firmly believes that sustainable growth must become a priority for businesses producing and converting plastic packaging materials. For this reason, despite the disruptive effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the plans of many companies, IRPLAST in the past months has brought out two new innovative product lines, one to reduce the carbon footprint of BOPP flexible packaging, and the other which introduces the possibility of entering the circular economy being progressively mandated by legislators worldwide.
The innovative and sustainable S-BOPP film portfolios obtained ISCC certification in November 2019, guaranteeing the solidity of the chain of custody right through the life cycle, from raw material production to packaging supplies. These new generation products in the categories RENEWABLE and CERTIFIED CIRCULAR MATERIAL are rigorously food contact approved, and 100% recyclable in normal polyolefin waste separation streams.
The production scheme illustrated above entails the use of raw materials from either renewable vegetable sources or from chemically recycled mixed post-consumer waste.
The waste vegetable oils, currently available as a recovered by-product of the responsibly managed forest industry, are not of animal origin and do not compete with the food chain. Produced in Europe by the mainstream petrochemical industry using the mass balance system, and then used in separate raw material streams in purity by IRPLAST for film manufacture, they allow film customers to reduce their GHG emissions by over 60% in many packaging usages. Compared to an equivalent BOPP film manufactured using traditional fossil-fuel sources, every kg of bio-based renewable source BOPP takes 2kg of CO2 emissions out of the environment.
The other sustainable option being developed by IRPLAST involves the manufacture of BOPP films using raw materials sourced from chemically recycled post-consumer waste. Also in this case the raw materials are produced using the drop-in mass balance process, and then used in purity thanks to separate material management procedures by IRPLAST during film production. Thanks to this process, all these films have identical mechanical and optical properties to their fossil-fuel equivalents and can be used in all the most difficult food-contact applications for BOPP.
All the films in IRPLAST’s portfolio can now be sourced in their ISCC certified equivalent version, containing either bio-based renewable sourced resin, or chemically recycled post consumer waste sourced resin. The identical technical properties of all the films mean that brand owners and packaging suppliers can now use truly sustainable packaging solutions, which are immediately implementable, without having to change packaging appearance or packaging machinery, eliminating any need for investment in machinery or processes.
IRPLAST SpA is vertically integrated, from the extrusion of the film to the printing processes and has always focused on sustainability with important investments to reduce thickness and to save raw materials (with multi-packagingbundles in polypropylenereducing plastic by 66% compared to common polyethylene bundles). Most recently the focus on reducing CO2 emissions in film production and its disposal has led to reuse production waste and to satisfy independently its energy needs, with modern cogeneration plants. It has 380 employees distributed at the 3 fully-automated production sites in Italy. One in Empoli (Florence), with a production capacity of over 500 million square meters of printed products and two in Atessa (Chieti), with a total installed production capacity of 44,000 tons/year of BOPP film. The company generated revenues of 97.1 million euros in 2019 and an EBITDA of 10% of its turnover. Over 75% of the production is destined for export.