Marchesini: Sustainable Packaging Materials Break New Ground


At Pharmintech (May 3-6, 2022, Milan) and during Open Door Pharma (May 2-6, 2022, Pianoro), the Marchesini Group exhibited three eco-friendly solutions for the packaging of pharmaceutical products. The decision to invest in the circular economy is part of the company’s strategic plan, communicated in 2015 with the presentation of the first Sustainability Report, in which the Group’s environmental, social and economic/financial responsibility initiatives were presented.


MA80 cartoning machine with paper tray

At the Pharmintech stand, A34-B35, attention was focused on the MA80 capping machine, designed for capping products such as syringes, inhalers, vials and tubes at a speed of 120 cartons per minute. The MA80 is designed to place products in cardboard trays as an alternative to thermoformed trays.

Cardboard trays are an environmentally friendly alternative that is becoming increasingly popular among customers because they are as reliable as PVC trays. They can also protect fragile and expensive products, such as syringes and ampoules, presenting them in a Moderna attractive way. Finally, cardboard trays offer advantages in terms of storage and transportation due to their compact size.

The Marchesini Group has created a team dedicated to designing custom cardboard trays for the packaging of products in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic market. Based on prototypes and models, the trays are set up so that customers can optimize the entire packaging line, from the process to packaging and palletizing.

In this process, the use of robotics is essential to create personalized inputs for handling, opening the tray and subsequent insertion of the product. In most cases, the shapes and sizes of plastics can be reproduced by cardboard solutions for both standing and lying products.

FB220 thermoforming machine with eco-friendly materials

Another innovation is the introduction of packaging technologies to gradually replace PVC with highly recyclable materials for the thermoforming of blisters and trays. In two years of experimentation and collaboration with some of the main players in the sector – the suppliers Klöckner Pentaplast, Huhtamaki, Amcor, Paccor (Faerch Group) and Encaplast – the technicians of the Marchesini Group have developed blisters and trays that can be easily disposed of in normal waste recycling channels. In particular, the use of plant and compostable materials, such as PLA, which is recyclable together with wet waste, and R-PET, PET recycled up to 80%, has made it possible to create perfectly adapted monomaterial packaging.

The first public demonstration of the use of these products on a Marchesini Group machine took place at Pharmintech, where a classic FB220 – a thermoforming machine used to form trays for ampoules, vials and syringes – was exhibited and prepared to use sustainable materials instead of traditional plastics.

Stickpack line with recyclable materials

During Open Door Pharma, the event designed to open the company’s doors to customers in the pharmaceutical industry, the new solutions on display were accompanied by a line consisting of a Schmucker MT1300 12-way stickpack packing machine, a stacking and counting system and a MA80 cartoner.

Specifically, this line is designed to process PP-based packaging materials (with and without PE) as 100% recyclable plastic monomaterials such as OPP or BOPP with a metallized interlayer. Due to its suitability for contact with food, this material is a worthy polyolefin-based substitute for the classic PET/ALU material for producing high barrier flexible packaging.