Winpak and Polykar: Working Together to Produce Sustainable Packaging

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

Canadian plastics producers, Polykar and Winpak, recognize the shared responsibility manufacturers have in ensuring sustainable end-of-life management for plastic packaging and have focused their business models around flexible plastic packaging (FPP).

Plastic packaging is a visible item that consumers regularly encounter in their daily lives. Canadian plastic producers recognize how important the use of packaging is – from prolonging food life to protecting perishable items, which is why their business models focus on FPP.

Polykar is a Montréal-based plastics manufacturer that specializes in producing sustainable flexible packaging. Everything they make is either 100% recyclable or compostable. The company’s product portfolio includes polyethylene film, recycled garbage bags, certified compostable packaging, food-approved bags and industrial strength packaging. Similarly, Winpak is a plastics manufacturing company based out of Winnipeg that specializes in three main streams of plastic packaging: 1) flexible packaging, 2) rigid packaging and lidding, and 3) packaging machinery. Winpak’s FPP is primarily used for the protection of perishable foods and beverages, pharmaceuticals, and medical and personal care products. Winpak also provides food manufacturers and brand owners with high barrier recycle ready solutions to address their packaging needs.

The eco-friendly benefits of FPP have greatly contributed to its popularity in the plastics industry. In addition to extending the shelf life of perishable products, FPP requires less material, uses less water and energy during manufacturing than rigid packaging or other non-plastics alternatives. Further, FPP can be transported before and after filling more efficiently, leading to reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Polykar and Winpak also use innovative plastics machinery to make FPP. The machinery combines resins, adhesives, and compatibilizers [used to promote adhesion between a pair of polymers] during the manufacturing process and creates products that can more easily be recycled through existing polyethylene film recycle streams, such as grocery store drop-off programs throughout Canada.

Industry innovators like Polykar and Winpak have helped FPP become the second most used packaging format in North America. As more municipal recycling facilities (MRFs) install the technology to accept FPP, these companies are helping divert plastic waste from landfills. The industry’s shift toward FPP is an important first step in achieving a circular economy and giving plastics a second life.