Naturally packed17 March 2021
Packaging machine manaufacturer hawo with its already long-established sustainable principles has pioneered a new totally organic, home compostable wrap system for textile care business under the brand name ORGANIXtex. Managing director Christian Wolf tells the story
hawo has been building packaging machines since 1975 – many of them are over 30 years old and still in use. The machines can basically be operated with all materials and hawo has been waiting a long time for an environmentally friendly packaging material to be developed in the textile packaging sector.
Since nothing much was happening in this area, the company decided to bring a sustainable solution to the market itself.
Sustainability and the environment have always been important to hawo. “We are all familiar with the images of plastic waste and we thought long and hard about how we could actively contribute to its prevention. This is how ORGANIX and ORGANIXtex came into being,” explains managing director Christian Wolf.
Sustainability is at the forefront of the company’s corporate philosophy, with a sustainability concept based on three pillars:
1. With ORGANIX, hawo has developed its own sustainable consumables for its packaging machines.
2. ConceptZero: by 2022, hawo wants to work 100% plastic-free in its own operations.
3. PlanE: starting with the production of hawo’s own electricity up to the conversion of all hawo vehicles to e-mobility.
The ORGANIXtex system consists of two components, firstly the 100% plastic-free ORGANIXtex packaging material and secondly the ORGANIX 630 KST packaging machine. hawo has had this machine in its range for many years under the well-known name hp 630 KST. For ORGANIX, only a few small changes were made so that the new material could be optimally sealed.
ORGANIXtex can also be processed on many other packaging machines and even on fully and semi-automatic machines.
“hawo has been redesigning our two plants in Mosbach and Obrigheim, both in southwest Germany, for several years now as part of planE. “We already produce the electricity we need using solar energy, and a large number of vehicles has already been converted to e-mobility. To support this, hawo is building an extensive charging infrastructure on our premises.”
hawo has committed itself in the WIN Charta to putting environmental concerns first. This includes, for example, reducing the consumption of natural resources, increasing energy efficiency and/or using renewable energies. This commitment is reviewed by the German government and countersigned by the Minister of the Environment and is considered proof of sustainable and green business practices.
When researching alternative packaging materials, hawo was surprised by the composition of the usual bio-films. Wolf explains: “Bio packaging material often means that plants which are normally suitable for consumption are used for production, for example, corn and sugar cane. Often forests are cleared and monocultures are established for this purpose. This often means a worse ecobalance than conventional plastic material.
“ORGANIXtex is 100% based on organic waste, in this case potato waste. It is 100% home compostable; and we like to describe the principle with the slogan ‘From potato to potato’ This is exactly what hawo considers to be optimal recycling.”
The result is ORGANIXtex for textiles, a hygienic packaging material that protects against dust and of course also against rain. So it fulfils all the requirements that the classic polyetlene protective cover has done up to now. A positive side effect of the technology is it is even easier to handle than tradtional plastic wrap because it does not become statically charged like plastic.
Suffocating in waste
“The world is facing climate change and we are suffocating in waste. We are convinced that the market even demands solutions from us. Before the pandemic, people took to the streets all over the world. You can say whatever you want about that, but the issue moves people,”says Wolf.
“In most drycleaners/laundries, everything is packed. Of course, the question is whether this is necessary. I think many end consumers don’t want any packaging at all. In my opinion, the end customer should be asked whether he wants plastic packaging or not.
“Nevertheless, packaging is unavoidable in many situations, for example when weather conditions do not allow transport home or when there are other logistical requirements. For example, many drycleaners/laundries work with receiving points and then bring the garments to their central cleaning facility. The clothes must therefore be transported and protected in the process. The same applies to online trading: especially in the pandemic, many users want their products packed.
But if packaging is needed, it should be done with a clear conscience and with packaging that is 100% plastic-free and does not additionally burden the environment.A small additional price of a few cents or pennies per package will certainly be accepted by all end consumers, says Christian Wolf..
“Our experience since the product launch is that many cleaners are completely repositioning themselves and positioning themselves sustainably, for example. with water-saving washing machines. Of course, an ORGANIX system is an essential part of this.
“We plan to bring plastic-free material to the market for all our product lines. Our goal mission is to make the world a little more plastic-free.”
The duration of the decomposition process of ORGANIX depends on the conditions. The decomposition process starts on the compost heap after just a few days
ORGANIX is already industrially compostable in many countries around the world and the list is growing daily. Especially because many countries ban plastic and are looking for alternatives.
“Those who do not have a compost heap can at least put this material in the residual waste. ORGANIX replaces plastic, has got a much lower carbon footprint and does not decompose. In any case, the user has done without plastic and made his small contribution. A small but important step. The more who join in, the greater the impact.
“ORGANIXtex does not disintegrate in the wardrobe. And, very important with natural materials, there is no odour, discolouration or damage or deposits on the textiles,” says Wolf. .
“In Germany, we have taken the first steps in marketing and disseminating information to customers and the response has been gratifyingly very positive. This is certainly due to the fact that each of us wants to make a contribution and each of us also strives to live in a clean environment,” says Wolf.
“We get enquiries from all over the world, very many from Scandinavian countries but also from countries with a strong tourism industry like the United Arab Emirates or the Maldives.
“The world is calling for futureoriented concepts. As a company, we bear responsibility and must give our customers the opportunity to consciously choose sustainable alternatives in their everyday lives. In the cleaning/laundry sector we were the first with such an approach, I think that’s why ORGANIX was able to convince so quickly.
“With ORGANIX, cleaners/laundries offer their customers real added value and a sustainable alternative to plastic packaging. This has a good advertising effect and is also a unique selling point compared to other suppliers. We are happy to support with point-of-sale information material, such as flyers and posters.
“At the beginning of this piece, I mentioned that some of our customers use equipment that is more than 30 years old. These hawo machines do not have to be replaced in order to be able to process ORGANIXtex. We have developed a conversion kit for old and obsolete devices – resource-saving and simply ORGANIX,” concludes Wolf.