Waterless Internet Flower Packaging, a breakthrough in packaging of flowers by Uflex, was pronounced winner of the overall Sustainability Awards 2018. It also emerged as a frontrunner in the ‘Resource Efficiency’ category that honors innovations in packaging that do more with less, such as down-gauging material or reducing the carbon footprint without increasing the environmental impact of the packaged products.

Uflex’s entry won both the awards at the Sustainability Awards ceremony that took place at Scanpack in Gothenburg, Sweden.  Sustainability Awards, hosted by Packaging Europe,is a comprehensive and rigorously judged initiative that recognizes the packaging industry’s top achievement in innovative packaging design, material, technologies and processes. The competition challenges the industry to take a holistic approach to sustainability and to bring out the best ideas around improving the environmental footprint of packaging. 

Uflex’s Waterless Internet Flower Packaging is based on Active Modified Atmospheric Packaging Technology (AMAP).Uflex has engineered FlexfreshTM,a special proprietary patented polymeric film for offering packaging solution for fresh fruits, vegetables and flowers. This special proprietary polymeric substrate is the first biodegradable (by composting) film that maintains the hydration of flowers during transpiration (evaporation causing loss of moisture during respiration) thus creating a closed loop system. Flowers are put to slow respiration mode by reducing the oxygen availability preventing excess oxidation and dehydration. The film keeps the flowers breathing in hydrated oxygen and release excess humidity keeping them touch dry. The flowers thus can go without water for 20 days as the humidity is fed back in to the flower when it continues to breathe in the modified atmosphere and further seven days in vase. 

Elated at winning the Sustainability Awards 2018, Ashok Chaturvedi, CMD of Uflex Limited said, “This has been a great year for Uflex with our innovation Waterless Internet Flower Packaging walking away with top honours at the Sustainability Award and another win just a month back at the Dow Packaging Awards. The awards are a reaffirmation of our efforts in optimizing sustainability footprint and business performance standards to deliver the highest levels of quality.” N Siva Shankaran, Vice President, Flexfresh at Uflex Ltd added, “In addition to multiplying the shelf-life and slashing energy consumption in the supply chain for flowers, Uflex is applying Flexfresh to a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Flexfresh brings in significant competitive edge to Supermarkets around the world for providing sustainable solutions to their fresh produce packaging. Uflex is currently testing its new improved Flexfresh with high clarity which could replace conventional bags/pouches in supermarket shelves. This change would facilitate Supermarkets to achieve their sustainable goals in the short term.”

Tim Sykes, Packaging Europe’s Head of Content, commented, “The ever growing engagement in the Sustainability Awards reflects the increased urgency with which consumers and regulators have demanded solutions to environmental problems associated with packaging in the past few years. Not only that, it also reflects the serious thought and investment the whole packaging value chain has been putting into sustainability. In selecting it as the overall winner of this year's competition, our expert, independent judging panel has endorsed Uflex’s Waterless Internet Flower Packaging as a clear case of sustainable innovation which creates significant energy reductions in the supply chain.” The 2018 edition of the Sustainability Awards chose winners in six categories: Resource Efficiency, Driving the Circular Economy, Bio-Based Packaging, Best Practice, Machinery and Recyclable Packaging. The overall winner of the Sustainability Awards was chosen from the shortlisted entries in these six categories. The awards received over 100 innovative submissions, which were graded by a seventeen -strong, independent, expert judging panel representing the breadth of the European packaging value chain.