Migros has been using environmentally friendly refill pouches for laundry detergents, fabric softeners and cleaning products for years. Sustainable packaging is also a major topic at the Mibelle Group. The new refillable pouch system underlines the commitment of the company to continuously expand this competence. Today, refillable pouches are also increasingly used in the Personal Care sector, for example for mouthwash, soaps, shower gels and shampoos. A refill pouch uses 60-70% less plastic than a conventional bottle. The current trend is towards monomaterial PE (polyethylene) pouches, as these can be fully recycled and are therefore more ecological. Converting conventional, multilayered plastic pouches to monomaterial pouches still represents a major technical challenge for the packaging market.
Reliable grip seal system for eco-friendly refill pouches
As it has already done for Frenkendorf, the Mibelle Group also chose for Buchs a grip seal system, where the pouch can be filled via the spout. Compared to a system in which the bags are welded in the filling line, this has the advantage that it combines a higher throughput rate with great process reliability.
Spout screw caps are trend-setting. On the one hand, they allow direct application, which means that the contents are applied directly from the pouch, for example in the case of a hair mask. On the other hand, refill pouches with screw caps can contain more than one refill quantity. For example, a soap refill pouch can contain twice the refill quantity (500 ml) for the corresponding 250 ml bottle, which again saves material. Therefore, handling with spouts was a basic requirement for the new plant in Buchs.
Flexible handling of formats and materials
The new system at Buchs makes it possible to provide additional production capacity in order to meet increased demand for refill pouches. Up to 25,000 pouches can be filled per shift. As this system is fully compatible with that at Frenkendorf, it will be easy to alleviate bottlenecks in the Home Care sector. The new refill system is flexible enough to process a variety of formats and materials, filling even smaller pouches (50 ml) and emulsions. These are then weighed and gently transported to the box by a multiple gripper, which leads to very good stability, so the refill pouches still look good on shop shelves.