Skip main navigation

Talk with the expert: Dr. Annalisa Ferri from ECOPACK, Italy

Interview with Dr. Annalisa Ferri, from the ECOPACK Company - ITALY
8
Dr. Ferri, thanks for accepting this interview. You represent a private company that generates profits and create jobs, by designing and selling new materials. Can you tell us about your company ?
21.8
YES: thank you for giving me this opportunity. Our Company name is EcoPack. We do eco-sustainable packaging. Our core competence and main business is designing, producing and distribution of paper-based cellulose packaging. We manufacture our moulds with paper, inks and glues that respect the environment and international standards. They are suitable for baking and freezing, and some are even sealable and provide a long action life for long term store. for withstand up to 220° C.
57.8
Our products were historically designed for bakery in the Industry, but lately we are approachig the savory market with a range of products that can substitute plastic trays with more sustainable alternatives made out of cardboard and PET coating, which can be recycled, We are also offer for example a salad bowl made out of bamboo fibers. In your opinion, is this an expanding sector? Are you expecting a growing number of companies in this business ? Food packaging based on cellulose is in strong expansion. Cellulose is a polymer of natural origin derived from renewable resources, it has a lower carbon footprint … and allows circular economy by being highly recyclable into other forms of packaging. So YES, it is a strongly expanding sector.
117.9
How are your products controlled ? Do you need to pass tests ? YES OF COURSE. All our products are made of paper that can be recycled, biodegraded and even composted and therefore respect the all regulations on FCM.
135
Ecopack is UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 certified for Quality System management and according to the global BRC version 5 standard for packaging and packaging materials.
153.6
There is one advantage : products cooked in paper containers need lower temperatures and shorter times compared to aluminium, moreover they need less handling compared to trays and consent freezing. Ecopack has also obtained FSC multisite certification, which supports responsible forest management by verifying the products along the entire chain. Before commercialization, we (like any other company) need to obtain a series of certificates, that you can find at the end of this interview. We also stricktly follow the requirements for raw materials used duiring processing and for the finished product. An example concerns the supply of paper material, which we can use only and exclusively if it complies with a series of conformity rules that you can find at the end of this interview.
218.4
Does your company do internal research, or do you rely on public research laboratories such as universities, institutes, etc.? Since two years we are collaborating with the Chemistry Department of the University of Turin for research on innovative materials, thinking about circular economy. This collaboration was born through a Research Project funded by the Region Administration, with the goal to develop biopolymers for paper coatings, that should provide a barrier to gases, fats and liquids. If we succeed, this will be a valid substitute to plastics and give it the appearance of eco-design. I believe such collaborations are very useful and promising,. . they should be supported definitely. It is reassuring that your company runs research.
247.9
As consumer, how can we be sure that your interest is not only economic, but also to safeguard the health of consumers ? Oh …YOU CAN BE SURE, VICKY. This is our philosophy. We combine economic interest with the idea that we must consider the point of view and safety of consumers. Profit is essential, YOU UNDERSTAND, to pay salaries and maintain jobs. Have we reached the right balance? MMMhh … perhaps yes, it seems to work well so far. HOWEVER, there are still many steps to be taken to be a sustainable company in social, economic and environmental terms. How are your products controlled ? Do you need to pass tests? YES OF COURSE.
260.9
All our products are made of paper that can be recycled, biodegraded and even composted and therefore respect all the regulations on FCM.
262.9
Ecopack is UNI EN ISO 9001:2015 certified for Quality System management. And also we are certified and according to the global BRC version 5 standard for packaging and packaging materials.
265.9
There is one advantage: products cooked in paper containers need lower temperatures and shorter times compared to aluminium, for example. Moreover they need less handling compared to trays and consent freezing. Ecopack has also obtained FSC multisite certification, which supports responsible forest management by verifying the products along the entire chain. Before commercialization, we (like any other company) need to obtain a series of certificates, you can find at the end of this interview. We also stricktly follow the requirements for raw materials used duiring processing and for the finished product. An example concerns the supply of paper material, which we can use only and exclusively if it complies with a series of conformity rules that you can find at the end of this interview.
276.9
Does your company do internal research, or do you rely on public research laboratories such as universities, institutes, etc.? Since two years we are collaborating with the Chemistry Department of the University of Turin for research on innovative materials, thinking about circular economy. This collaboration was born through a Research Project funded by the Region Administration, with the goal to develop biopolymers for paper coatings, that should provide a barrier to gases, fats and liquids. If we succeed, this will be a valid substitute to plastics and give it the appearance of eco-design. I believe such collaborations are very useful and promising,.. they should be supported. It is reassuring that your company runs research.
287.9
As consumer, how can we be sure that your interest is not only economic, but also to safeguard the health of consumers ? Oh Yes …YOU CAN BE SURE, VICKY. It is actually a selfish approach. We care and safeguard the health of consumers. Because without them we simply would not exist. We are all very connected. We have recently seen that a non sustainable approach could be devastating for our world. Just look at the damage made by the tropicalization of the whether. Or the viruses coming from the exploiting of animal breeding. Most people even in the poorest Countries know this by now.
327.7
This is definitely our philosophy, we combine economic interest with the idea that we must consider the point of view and safety of consumers. Profit is essential, YOU UNDERSTAND, to pay salaries and maintain jobs. But more essential is to protect costumers. What public agencies regulate your work? Do you think this sector is well regulated, or could be improved? Our company collaborates with qualified Food Packaging laboratories to guarantee the conformity and product certification. The Quality Certification Services company CSI (Certification and Testing Food - Packaging Materials) assists us – and other companies - on the control of the chemical parameters, required by law for food contact materials.
382.2
Moreover, to guarantee and assure our consumers, we appeal to the Institute for Research and Consultancy on Packaging (IRCPACK). With regard to hygiene, health and environmental monitoring at the workplace, the analyses are carried out by LabAnalysis. Having a laboratory dedicated to the quality control of the incoming material, we constantly
412.1
verify the conformity from the suppliers: such as paper mills, glues and inks. For the second question, YES, I think this is right, we need clear rules and we need control agencies. I would improve by simplifying the bureaucracy and accelerating the procedures. There is definitely a benefit from this. We have learned that FCMs can release substances harmful to our body. Are there any tests you can do to make sure your products don’t fall into this category? You are learning a lot in this course .. NOW.. about Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals that affect our endocrine system. Among the chemicals that are often used in paper-based packaging are the PFAS - polyfluoroalkylated chemicals.
472.3
These are used to give resistance to grease and oil and give it a water-repellent appearance. Denmark has decided to ban the use of PFAS, since July 2020. The ban covers the use of them in FCM. In the same line of action, our company is selecting treated papers that avoid using PFAS in all phases.

This video interwiew brings to you a different opinion in the sector of packaging business. We have asked Dr. Annalisa Ferri, CEO of the ECOPACK Company – Italy, to tell us about if and how industries are interested in new technologies and materials for the packaging business. ECOPACK produces natural and safe packaging, and will be very interesting to know about the products, the legislations, the safety and the market value. Don’t miss it!

This article is from the free online

Consumer and Environmental Safety: Food Packaging and Kitchenware

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education