|As the environmental impacts of different packaging solutions are becoming better known, consumers, retailers, and producers are increasingly seeking packaging solutions that have a significantly reduced environmental impact, while still remaining functional. Conscious of the strategic significance of this, TUBEX Aluminium Tubes deployed an integrated eco-innovation process, leading to the launch of “The Blue Tube” brand in 2019. The range consists exclusively of tubes made of 100% recycled aluminium. The first generation of this brand, The Blue Tube, is made of 100% PIR (Post-Industrial Recycled) aluminium and has been incredibly successful, especially within the global fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, with clients including the Beauty Care division of Henkel AG & Co. KGaA, a global leader in beauty care, laundry, home care and adhesive technology.
Following the successful launch, the range has since been expanded to include the latest addition, The Blue Tube Evo. This latest product was developed with circularity in mind, and can be designed to have up to 15% less aluminium. This highly circular product has an improved restitution rate and a high Material Circularity Index (MCI) score of up to 93%. Developed by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the MCI measures the extent to which linear flows of materials (non-recycled) have been minimised and restorative flows (recycled) maximised. Therefore, the higher the proportion of recycled and recyclable materials, the higher the circularity score.
TUBEX commissioned Quantis, a global environmental consulting firm, to conduct both Life Cycle Assessments, to evaluate the tubes’ environmental footprint, and Material Circularity Indicator. By deploying a robust eco-design approach including PCR integration and tubes re-engineering, TUBEX Aluminium Tubes was able to reduce its tubes carbon footprint by 40% with its Blue Tube Evo. The company improved its tubes circularity by not only having a tube that is 100% recyclable at the end of life but also having 95% of PCR aluminium, which also reduces the environmental impact of raw materials. The TUBEX Aluminium Tubes team is currently working to certify the full traceability of its supply chain with precise sourcing of PCR materials.
A deep transformation process to meet today’s environmental demand
These innovations illustrate TUBEX Aluminium Tubes’ commitment to reduce the environmental impact of their products without altering their functionality. They provide a concrete and relevant solution for the pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and technical industries that must comply with the European directive 2018/852 on packaging and waste, which sets a target of 50% of aluminium packaging being recycled by 2025, and 60% by 2030.
For Thierry Bitout, CEO of TUBEX Aluminium Tubes: “The Blue Tube Evo is the result of a deep and successful transformation process within TUBEX Aluminium Tubes, which has all owed us to strengthen and develop both our expertise and R&D capabilities on aluminium tubes, to deploy strategic partnerships and finally to grow a global footprint for TUBEX Aluminium Tubes.” Thierry Bitout adds: „This new aluminium packaging meets an urgent need for our customers who want to significantly reduce their environmental footprint today, as well as a global market and consumer trend towards more recycling and less waste.“
The development of the Blue Tube brand has been made possible thanks to pioneering reorganization strategy within the TUBEX Group. Dr. Cornelius Grupp, CEO and owner of the TUBEX Group, explains: „I am very proud to present our new products, which demonstrate the success of the differentiation strategy we have pursued with our two leading packaging divisions which specialise in aluminium tubes and aerosol cans“, and concludes: „This transformation work carried out over the past two years has allowed us to enter a new era, and to become the world leader in aluminium tube packaging“.
About TUBEX Aluminium Tubes
TUBEX Aluminium Tubes is a division of TUBEX Group which is part of the CAG Group – a family group which represents 8,400 employees worldwide. TUBEX Aluminium Tubes specialises in aluminium tube packaging for the cosmetics, pharmaceutical, food and technical industries. The company, which employs 1,000 people, is present in 7 locations, operates in 76 markets and has a portfolio of 650 clients worldwide.
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 Circularity Indicators, “An approach to Measuring Circularity”, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.