Effective since 1 April 2024, Siegwerk has established a new business unit dedicated to functional coatings for the realisation of sustainable packaging innovations in the sense of a circular economy.

‘In addition to our broad portfolio of renowned printing inks and varnishes, we have also been focusing on the development of functional coating technologies for various substrates, processes and performance requirements for a long time now,’ said Dr Nicolas Wiedmann, CEO at Siegwerk.

Considering the sustainability trend, functional print coatings offer a high potential for the future of packaging, providing specific functional properties that are crucial for the performance and durability of packaging. Gilles Le Moigne, head of business unit at CE Coatings, added, ‘Functional coatings can for example help to reduce packaging complexity or equip renewable materials like paper with functional properties so that they can be used for a wider range of packaging applications.

‘That is why we are increasingly focusing on the development of innovative coating technologies that prioritise recyclability, allowing packaging to seamlessly re-enter the circular economy.’

Set to lead the company’s new division, Mr Le Moigne, an experienced packaging coating expert will lead the formation and development of the new division from April 2024. ‘Siegwerk is already well positioned in the field of coatings, and I am grateful being able to contribute my experiences to take its circular coatings business to the next level,’ commented Mr Le Moigne.

The company outlined that customer can choose from a wide range of functional coatings including, barrier coatings against liquids, oil and grease, water vapor, oxygen and UV light through heat seal coatings to protection coating. Siegwerk’s portfolio of functional coatings covers water-based and solvent-based technologies for different applications, substrates, coating processes and performances. All coatings are produced worldwide and are said to be tailored to individual customer requirements, including specific regional regulations and local market needs.

Mr Le Moigne added, ‘To continue paving the way for an increasing circularity of packaging, we will expand our cooperation radius to the entire packaging ecosystem going forward. After all, packaging sustainability is a complex topic, making cross-industry collaboration inevitable for progress.’

Rethinking the design of packaging has never been more important. According to the European Commission each European generates an average of nearly 180kg of packaging waste per year and without changing anything this will rise by further 19% until 2030, with an increase in plastic packaging waste even reaching 46%.

‘Here, functional coatings can help to enable the switch from multi- to mono-material packaging and extend the use of renewable packaging materials,’ expressed Mr Wiedmann. ‘As ink and coating expert for packaging, we are very familiar with packaging design and the latest regulations, including food safety, packaging sustainability and recycling, and know what it takes to create packaging structures for circularity that are conform with all relevant regulations.’