RosUpack 2022: packaging and a bit of greenwashing

The Zeronix team visited the international packaging industry exhibition RosUpack. The exhibition took place in Moscow from 7 to 10 June. Here’s what we saw and learnt.

First, lots of paper packaging: boxes, bags, corrugated boxes, wrapping paper; as well as other items made of paper - cups, containers for takeaway food. This is not surprising, because RosUpack is the only and largest exhibition in Russia and the CIS, which presents the process of packaging production for various industries: food, processing, chemical industry, medicine and pharmaceuticals, as well as catering, wholesale and retail trade , warehousing, logistics, etc.

Secondly, we spotted several eco-friendly novelties in packaging. For example, a biodegradable bag with biocoating technology from Segezha Group. Biocoating is a solution that is applied in a thin layer to paper, building a natural barrier. This coating prevents moisture from getting inside the packaging and thus can replace the plastic layer in composite packaging. So far, biocoating packaging has only been certified for use with non-food products, such as dry building mixes. But the manufacturer is already working on a variation of biocoating suitable for product packaging. Also, several manufacturers have presented compostable disposable tableware: it is made from polylactide and corn starch.

Thirdly, unfortunately, we noticed quite a lot of greenwashing. A number of companies supplying composite paper packaging, such as food containers, positioned it as eco and even biodegradable - because it is made of paper (duuh). But we know that composite packaging is one of the most non-environmentally friendly and certainly not biodegradable.

Finally, the team of the composite paper recycling project spoke with the manufacturers of paper-laminated tableware on the issue of recycling rejection products. After all, what is a rejection product for a manufacturer, are materials for recycling for us. The team also agreed with several paper mills to test our cellulose fiber for the production of fluting (the paper for making the corrugated layer in corrugated cardboard).