T.CON has acquired a new implementation partner for products like its TRIM Suite: Chinese textile manufacturer Pacific Textiles. Businesses in the region generate considerable demand for specialized industry expertise for their SAP projects.


Hong Kong-based Pacific Textiles is one of the world’s biggest textile manufacturers. The company has 6,500 employees and is a longstanding SAP customer with extensive SAP expertise. Employees of the internal SAP team are working under the direction of CIO Hubert Tsang in a newly founded subsidiary, which is positioning itself as an implementation partner for other businesses in the region. The collaboration with T.CON provides the company access to comprehensive industry expertise – for example, for implementation projects in the paper industry. At the same time, the SAP subsidiary of Pacific Textiles is adding T.CON products like the TRIM SUITE to its portfolio.

During a joint presentation at the Fastmarkets RISI Asian Conference in Shanghai, Hubert Tsang and T.CON’s International Business Development Manager Bradley Robb introduced the partnership to the circle of Asian participants. In front of a professional audience representing some of the most influential paper producers in Asia and the world, they explained the background and potentials of the collaboration. Together, in a packed room, they demonstrated how T.CON's full-scale optimization tool TRIM SUITE can generate and optimize slitting patterns for the pulp and paper industry. This enables them to support customers worldwide with innovative, SAP native solutions - custom tailored to the mill industry.

“SAP is used for many scenarios in China. However, not all implementation partners in Asia are able to supply the industry expertise that is often needed for the projects”, said Gerhard Göbel, Senior Consultant SCM at T.CON. “Our implementation partner knows the market and opens doors for us. We make our software products and internationally-unique industry expertise available to them.”

The partnership is an important milestone for T.CON’s internationalization strategy. Excellent, highly scalable products and a strong partner who is thoroughly familiar with the regional situation: this is T.CON’s formula for opening up markets in China and neighboring countries.

About T.CON

T.CON is a successful German SAP consulting and systems company. Its team of 300 SAP experts across five sites performs complete installations, carve-outs and optimization projects throughout the world. T.CON links up processes, systems and people, rethinks business processes and exploits the opportunities and possibilities in digitalization to benefit its customers. T.CON’s customers can achieve their corporate goals more easily and reliably, work more profitably and establish themselves even more successfully in the competitive environment. As an owner-operated business and SAP Gold Partner, T.CON has an emphasis on sustainable growth and pursuing long-term goals.

For more information visit https://www.tcon-international.com/

About Pacific Textiles

Pacific Textiles Ltd is a leading manufacturer of customized knitted fabric in textile industry. The headquarters is located in Hong Kong, an international commercial hub in Asia Pacific, with its production base in Panyu, South China - heart of the Pearl River Delta Region. The production plant is well-equipped with advanced production facilities, including a scalable water treatment facility and cogeneration power plant, which are keys to production efficiency and flexibility. Providing integrated services of knitting, dyeing, printing and finishing, with an annual production capacity of approximately 87 million KG. More than 6,500 staff are employed in the production area and many of them are experienced professionals in textile industry. 

It has collaborated closely with apparel brand owners to design fabrics that meet customized order particulars. Its finished fabrics comprise more than 5,000 designs and specifications to sell to the global market. The fabrics are used in a broad range of garments, including men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, sportswear, swimwear and inner-wear. It has established relationships with owners and leading brands worldwide.


Valmet will supply a board machine rebuild for ITC Limited at its Bhadrachalam Mill in India. The rebuild of board machine PM 7, currently producing folding boxboard, is designed to increase production capacity substantially and offer new quality features. The start-up of the rebuilt machine is scheduled for the second half of 2020.

The order is included in Valmet's orders received of the second quarter 2019. The value of the order is not disclosed. The value of a rebuild of this type and scope is typically around EUR 10-15 million.

valmet logo rgb"Our goal with this rebuild is to upgrade the machine with latest technology, enhance the machine performance and ensure our competitiveness in the market," says Mr. Sanjay Singh, Divisional Chief Executive, ITC PSPD & Member, CMC, ITC Limited.

"ITC's coated board machine PM1A delivered by Valmet started up successfully in June 2018. Customer's satisfaction with Valmet's high performing technology and project execution helped us secure this rebuild order. The challenging objectives of the rebuild were addressed with a right combination of technology and process support via on-demand expert support of Valmet Performance Center," says Varun Jain, Director, India region, Valmet.

Technical details about the delivery

Valmet's delivery will include a new OptiFlo Foudrinier headbox, OptiCalender Compact hard nip calender with compact design, OptiCoat Roll coating station with OptiDry Coat air dryers, OptiReel Primary reel with primary reeling devices, improvements in the forming, press and drying sections. The hard nip calender equipped with Valmet IQ Induction profiler improves caliper control giving a better base for coating to achieve high quality.

The delivery will also include a Valmet DNA machine control system and Valmet Performance Center (VPC) services with on-demand expert support. The on-demand expert support can be used for solving any process or automation related issue during the agreement period.

The 3,600-mm-wide (wire) board machine will produce superior folding boxboard, and after the rebuild also solid bleached board (SBS) grades with the basis weight range of 200-450 g/m2. The design speed of the new parts will be 600 m/min.

Information about the customer ITC Limited

ITC Limited is an Indian multinational conglomerate company headquartered in Kolkata, West Bengal. ITC's Paperboards and Specialty Papers Division is India's largest paper and paperboard company that manufacturers packaging and graphic boards accompanied by a diverse range of specialty papers and boards.  

Valmet is the leading global developer and supplier of process technologies, automation and services for the pulp, paper and energy industries. We aim to become the global champion in serving our customers.

Valmet's strong technology offering includes pulp mills, tissue, board and paper production lines, as well as power plants for bioenergy production. Our advanced services and automation solutions improve the reliability and performance of our customers' processes and enhance the effective utilization of raw materials and energy.

Valmet's net sales in 2018 were approximately EUR 3.3 billion. Our more than 13,000 professionals around the world work close to our customers and are committed to moving our customers' performance forward - every day. Valmet's head office is in Espoo, Finland, and its shares are listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Read more www.valmet.com

The Better with Less – Design Challenge arranged for the first time in 2017–2018 was an impressive success, with over 300 packaging designs submitted to the competition. This year’s Design Challenge is approaching, and the world-class jury of renowned packaging design experts has now been announced.

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Last year, Metsä Board’s Better with Less – Design Challenge inspired students and professional packaging designers from 38 countries to contribute their work showcasing more environmentally-friendly packaging solutions. This year, the Better with Less – Design Challenge will again have a world-class jury of renowned packaging design and branding experts:

Alissa Demorest, Editor in Chief of luxury packaging magazine Formes de Luxe, has extensive experience in the luxury-goods sector from both a brand and supplier perspective. Andrew Gibbs, Founder, CEO & Editor in Chief of Dieline has been called an “innovator in the world of design”. Charles Ng, Founder & Chief Brand Consultant of MCL Group Hong Kong / China, takes a holistic approach of brand design from brand auditing, brand analysis to brand strategy that provides creative works covering packaging, graphics, products, spatial and retail. Clark Goolsby, Chief Creative Officer of Chase Design Group, emphasizes the value of design, and the lasting cultural and financial impact it can have for products and organizations. Stefan Junge, Professor in Packaging Technology at Beuth University of Applied Sciences Berlin, has more than 20 years of experience in the field of packaging technology, having for example held the position of Corporate Packaging Manager at Sika and multiple positions at Nestlé.

“We are excited to have this multitalented international jury of renowned packaging design experts involved in the Better with Less – Design Challenge. Together we want to encourage packaging designers all over the world to create new, more environmentally-friendly solutions for everyday packaging,“ states the competition jury chairman and member of the competition jury Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director, EMEA and APAC at Metsä Board.   

Better with Less – Design Challenge 2019–2020 will be launched in September.

Metsä Board’s Better with Less – Design Challenge is an initiative to inspire packaging designers all over the world to create packaging solutions that create better brand experiences with less environmental impact. www.betterwithless.org #betterwithless  

Metsä Board

Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards including folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. Our lightweight paperboards are developed to provide better, safer and more sustainable solutions for consumer goods as well as retail-ready and food service applications. We work together with our customers on a global scale to innovate solutions for better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. The pure fresh fibres Metsä Board uses are a renewable resource, traceable to origin in sustainably managed northern forests.

The global sales network of Metsä Board supports customers worldwide, including brand owners, retailers, converters and merchants. In 2018, the company’s sales totalled EUR 1.9 billion, and it has approximately 2,400 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Metsä Group

Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable and sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards as well as tissue and greaseproof papers. 

Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.7 billion in 2018, and it employs approximately 9,300 people. The Group operates in some 30 countries. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 103,000 Finnish forest owners.

GRETE, the Green chemicals and technologies for the wood-to-textile value chain project, has been granted EUR 2.6 million by the Bio-based Industries Joint Undertaking (BBI JU), which is partnership between the EU and the Bio-based Industries Consortium. The project will improve the existing wood-to-textile value chains by developing breakthrough technologies that can open up the identified bottlenecks and enable increased production of man-made cellulose fibres in Europe.

The GRETE project will tackle the bottlenecks of creating wood-to-textile value chains by developing innovative technologies for wood pulp modification, cellulose dissolution and fibre quality generation. Currently, the raw material base for the production of man-made cellulose fibres is limited as only dissolving grade wood pulps are used commonly. The project will tackle this by widening the sustainable raw material basis for man-made cellulose fibres.

vtt logo 2019“More sustainable textile fibres are in high demand. A route of great potential, in this respect, is wood-based textile fibres. With the GRETE project we aim to find improved technologies for the wood-to-textile fibre value chain“, explains CEO Niklas von Weymarn, Metsä Spring.

The solvent systems used for the production of commercial man-made cellulose viscose and lyocell fibres are based on toxic and explosive chemicals, but the GRETE technologies will increase safety, sustainability and feasibility of man-made cellulose fibre manufacturing. Currently, there are several steps in the textile production value chain, e.g. finishing treatments and dyeing of textiles, which cause extensive freshwater pollution. Fibres with novel functional properties open up the possibility for targeted and water-scarce finishing treatments.

The Executive Director for Innovation and Technological Development at Altri SA, Gabriel Sousa, describes their motivation for taking part in the project: “By participating in the GRETE project, Celbi SA - a subsidiary of Altri SA - will gain understanding on the pulp-regenerated cellulose-textile value chain and technologies and also understand the key requirements and specs for pulp on future markets. Celbi also aims to gain a clear view on the viability of ionic liquids use for cellulosic textile fibres.”

The issues to be solved in the project play a significant role in developing sustainable and green technologies for the European industry. The industrial partners of the project are strongly committed to the project and a separate stakeholder group will provide assistance to strategic decision-making. The consortium is led by VTT, and is built around many of the most distinguished research centres and universities acting in this field.

The project is coordinated by VTT. Partners: University of Helsinki, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Universidade de Aveiro, Metsä Fibre Oyj, Celbi SA, Material Connexion Italia SRL and Vertech Group.

VTT is a visionary research, development and innovation partner. We drive sustainable growth and tackle the biggest global challenges of our time and turn them into growth opportunities. We go beyond the obvious to help the society and companies to grow through technological innovations. We have over 75 years of experience of top-level research and science-based results. VTT´s turnover and other operating income is 268 M€.

VTT is at the sweet spot where innovation and business come together.

The demand for sustainable packaging among consumers and brand owners all over the world is growing at an exponential rate, which in many cases drives a strong need to replace plastic packaging. Strong partnerships are required to bring about the development and innovation needed to meet this demand. A good reason for Bosch Packaging Technology and BillerudKorsnäs to intensify their successful collaboration.

Already in 2016, Bosch and BillerudKorsnäs presented their first major joint innovation - Sealed Paper Packaging on a vertical form, fill and seal machine (VFFS). The ZAP module from Bosch makes it possible to process mono-material Axello® ZAP paper from BillerudKorsnäs on VFFS technology with dust-tight sealing. Now Bosch Packaging Technology and BillerudKorsnäs are developing new sustainable paper-based packaging innovations. Both companies are further strengthening their approach to work closely with partners along the value chain to find better solutions for a sustainable future.

bosch logo english“Developing sustainable packaging solutions is an urgent and challenging topic. New solutions must be sustainable and at the same time ensure efficient processing. By combining the expertise of BillerudKorsnäs in the field of paper-based packaging material with our technological know-how, we will be able to answer both challenges,” says Dr Stefan König, president of Bosch Packaging Technology.

“The collaboration with Bosch Packaging Technology offers new perspectives for sustainable packaging. Bosch brings many years of experience in technology and implementation into the cooperation. By joining forces, we can realize our ideas in a more targeted way and shape the future of packaging together,” says Petra Einarsson, president and CEO of BillerudKorsnäs.

The first concrete result of this enhanced collaboration is the development of a new packaging concept called Pearl. It aims to show how uniquely formed and right-sized small packages, called shaped paper pods, can contribute to a more sustainable future by utilising the unique formability of the FibreForm® material (the leading 3D-formable paper on the market, patented by BillerudKorsnäs). The material is processed on machinery from Bosch Packaging Technology, who not only contributes long-standing expertise in forming, filling and sealing of a wide variety of materials to the cooperation but also ensures the subsequent industrialization of the newly developed technologies for commercial production.

In industries like beauty and personal care, bread spreads, savoury and confectionery, single-use plastic packaging is widespread. “The goal is to support these industries with a sustainable packaging system and replace plastic in product samples, inserts, refills, portion packs and disposable packaging,“ says Simon Johansson, project manager Packaging Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs. “We have already passed several milestones in the project,” Torsten Sauer, project manager sustainability at Bosch Packaging Technology adds. “Now we are inviting selected brand owners to join our journey towards a sustainable future.”

The Pearl concept will be shown for the first time at FOOMA (International food & technology exhibition), South hall, booth 3C-34, in Tokyo July, 9 to 12, 2019.

Together with further sustainable packaging solutions and developments, the Pearl concept will also be exhibited at the leading packaging tradeshows such as FachPack (September 24 to 26, 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany), PackExpo (September, 23 to 25, 2019 in Las Vegas, USA) and Interpack (May 7 to 13, 2020 in Dusseldorf, Germany).

About Bosch Packaging Technology

Based in Waiblingen near Stuttgart, Germany, and employing 6,300 associates, the Bosch Packaging Technology division is one of the leading suppliers of process and packaging technology. At over 30 locations in more than 15 countries worldwide, a highly-qualified workforce develops complete solutions for the pharmaceuticals, food, and confectionery industries. These solutions are complemented by a comprehensive after-sales service portfolio. A global service and sales network provides customers with local points of contact. More information is available online at www.boschpackaging.com                                             

German antitrust authorities have finalized their analysis and cleared the acquisition.  Inapa will become the leading paper distribution group in Western Europe after the transaction, expected to be completed within 30 days.

German antitrust authorities have completed the verification of the sale of Papyrus Deutschland GmbH & Co. KG (Papyrus) to the Inapa Group (Inapa). Inapa, which is already active on the paper wholesale market in Germany through its subsidiary Papier Union GmbH (Papier Union), taking over the shares previously held by OptiGroup.

2015 06 15 080407On October 24, 2018, Inapa and Optigroup signed a binding agreement to combine their respective paper distribution operations in Germany, Papyrus and Papier Union, creating a stronger paper merchant in the German market. At this point, all conditions of the share purchase agreement have been met and it is expected that the closing of the transaction will happen in the next 30 days.

By joining the two operations, Inapa Group will optimize synergies and complement the activity carried out by Papyrus, which had a turnover of 569 million euros in 2018, with its German subsidiary, Papier Union, which had a turnover of 380 million euros.

‘Of course we are pleased about the approval of the antitrust authorities, as the period of uncertainty is over. This transaction is a milestone for Inapa Group, due to its size and synergies potential. The closing of the transaction is planned to be quick, so that we can begin to shape the future, with a close cooperation between Papyrus and Papier Union’ states the Group CEO, Diogo Rezende.

‘This transaction is a milestone and will further strengthen the position of Inapa, growing the Group’s topline in more than 50% and becoming the leading Western European paper merchant. The Group will have a leading position in Germany, France and Portugal. Optigroup investment in the convertible bonds that it will be issued by Inapa, clearly shows that they also believe in the value creation potential of this transaction’’ comments Diogo Rezende.

About Inapa Group

Founded in 1965, the Inapa Group occupies a position of reference in the European paper distribution market and holds prominent positions in the  distribution of packaging and visual communication, with annual sales of 860 million euros. It is the only Portuguese multinational company listed in the paper distribution sector in Europe.

With a team of 1350 employees, the Inapa Group operates in 10 countries - Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, the Netherlands, Turkey and Angola.

International technology Group ANDRITZ has received an order from Cartiere del Polesine to rebuild an existing OCC line including reject treatment at the mill in Adria, Italy. In addition to all main process components, ANDRITZ will also install two newly developed PrimeScreens X for primary-stage fine screening as well as fractionation. Start-up is scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.

The fluting and testliner production line will have a line capacity of 400 bdmt/d and process AOCC (American Old Corrugated Container) as well as special waxed waste paper as raw material.

An ANDRITZ FibreFlow drum pulper with extended pulping and screening section will slush the difficult-to-handle raw material in order to ensure gentle pulping, high fiber yield, and reliable operation. Specific trials on the industrial-scale drum pulper at the ANDRITZ Stock Preparation Pilot Plant in Graz, Austria, confirmed future pulp properties and operating characteristics in advance.

ANDRITZ PrimeScreen X with top-feed stock inlet. Photo: ANDRITZANDRITZ PrimeScreen X with top-feed stock inlet. Photo: ANDRITZ

Different types of ANDRITZ ModuScreen pressure screens as well as two next-generation PrimeScreens X will be part of the screening processes. The innovative top-feed concept of the new screen was decisive for Cartiere del Polesine to order ANDRITZ’s new screening technology. The top-down design takes advantage of gravity to remove heavy contaminants quickly and minimize wear on rotor and screen basket. Top-down also improves the removal of light rejects, preventing their accumulation in the feed area, which again extends the life of wearing components.

The scope of supply also includes reject treatment, basic engineering and site services.

Cartiere del Polesine is a major player in the Italian and European containerboard industries and focuses on sustainable and innovative production. Four paper machines in two different mills produce around 300,000 tons of containerboard per year.

ANDRITZ Pulp & Paper is a leading global supplier of complete plants, systems, equipment, and comprehensive services for the production and processing of all types of pulp, paper, board, and tissue. The technologies cover processing of logs, annual fibers, and waste paper; production of chemical pulp, mechanical pulp, and recycled fibers; recovery and reuse of chemicals; preparation of paper machine furnish; production of paper, board, and tissue; sizing, calendering and coating of paper; as well as treatment of reject materials and sludge. The service offering includes system and machine modernization, rebuilds, spare and wear parts, on-site and workshop services, optimization of process performance, maintenance and automation solutions, as well as machine relocation and second-hand equipment. Biomass, steam and recovery boilers for power production, gasification and flue gas cleaning plants, systems and plants for the production of nonwovens and absorbent hygiene products, dissolving pulp, and panelboard (MDF), as well as recycling and shredding solutions for various waste materials also form a part of this business area.

Willamette Falls Paper Company, Inc., a subsidiary of Columbia Ventures Corporation in Vancouver, Washington, announces Dr. Phil Harding will join Willamette Falls Paper Company as the Director of Technology and Sustainability.
Dr. Harding has spent the past twelve years serving as the Linus Pauling Chair of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. He will bring his wealth of industrial chemical engineering and business experience to develop paper and other products from wheat straw, recycled fiber, and hemp. His background includes work in the paper industry with James River Corporation and in microelectronics with Hewlett-Packard, with responsibilities including process engineering, research and development, product reliability, global manufacturing and research strategy. He is the winner of the Oregon State University Carter Award for Outstanding and Inspirational Teaching, is a certified Professional Engineer, and holds 15 patents.

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“We are excited to welcome Dr. Harding to the team at Willamette Falls Paper Company,” states Brian Konen, President of Willamette Falls Paper Company. “His expertise in our industry and his innovation and forward thinking on sustainability will be critical for our new product development and the long-term viability of the business.”
“It is an honor to join Brian Konen and Columbia Ventures Corporation CEO, Ken Peterson, in not only restarting the paper mill, but also creating new market segments that synergistically engage economic opportunity and sustainability,” states Dr. Harding. “State and federal regulatory movement on managing carbon emissions strongly favor our location and business interests.”
COLUMBIA VENTURES CORPORATION (CVC) is a private equity diversified holding company. Notably, CVC is the majority owner of Northwest Straw Pulp, LLC which is in the final stages of constructing a first-of-its-kind pulp mill near Starbuck, Washington, to manufacture high-quality pulp fiber from wheat straw. At full production, it expects to annually produce 140,000 tons of pulp that will be able to directly substitute for hardwood pulp in terms of specifications and quality.
WILLAMETTE FALLS PAPER COMPANY, INC. is a newly formed company which owns and operates the machinery and equipment at the paper mill in West Linn, Oregon. The company is a non-integrated mill, capable of making coated and uncoated grades with an annual capacity of 260,000 tons. The Willamette Falls Paper Company looks to be an innovative leader in environmental paper production.

Metsä Board – part of the Metsä Group - has announced the start of a new WKL Common Stock Service to help streamline and enhance the order-delivery processes of white kraftliners in continental Europe.

As part of the commitment to develop customer focused services, Metsä Board has created this new service to improve the availability of white kraftliners and help corrugated converters be more responsive and competitive. The new Common Stock service, which was started in March, provides the converters with easy access and reliable availability to ready-made standard white kraftliner reels from Metsä Board’s warehouse in Lübeck.

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This service enables a genuine just-in-time delivery service based upon improved availability of local stock. It includes a comprehensive fixed offering consisting of industry standard specifications and stock items, optimised to market requirements.

“The service is designed to help corrugated converters become more competitive, win new business and manage special promotions as well as react to one-off orders and urgent jobs”, says Veijo Korkalainen, VP Sales, White Kraftliners. “We are delighted with the enthusiastic feedback we have received as our customers see Common Stock as a great solution to tighter deadlines.”

Metsä Board

Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards including folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. Our lightweight paperboards are developed to provide better, safer and more sustainable solutions for consumer goods as well as retail-ready and food service applications. We work together with our customers on a global scale to innovate solutions for better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. The pure fresh fibres Metsä Board uses are a renewable resource, traceable to origin in sustainably managed northern forests.

The global sales network of Metsä Board supports customers worldwide, including brand owners, retailers, converters and merchants. In 2018, the company’s sales totalled EUR 1.9 billion, and it has approximately 2,400 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.

Metsä Group

Metsä Group is a forerunner in sustainable bioeconomy utilising renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. Metsä Group focuses on wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards and tissue and greaseproof papers.

In 2018, Metsä Group’s sales totalled EUR 5.7 billion, and it employs approximately 9,300 people. Metsäliitto Cooperative is the parent company of Metsä Group and is owned by approximately 103,000 Finnish forest owners

As interest groups raise awareness about plastic waste, governments around the world are starting to ban various types of plastics, especially single-use packaging items. We all know the reasons behind this push: Plastic waste is filling our landfills and waterways and breaks down very slowly in the environment.

Ultimately, the impact will not be confined to items such as grocery bags and straws. Analysts expect the movement to extend to plastic bottles, disposable cups, food-service packaging and ready-meal containers. In fact, several major consumer brands, as well as a significant number of European retailers, have moved to reduce or eliminate their use of plastics in packaging. And more will certainly follow.

Renewed Focus on Paper Materials

In this new paradigm, the pulp and paper industry has an opportunity to rise to the challenge of providing more environmentally friendly fiber-based solutions to replace all those plastic straws, bottles, disposable cups and food containers. But before that happens, it’s important to address the foundational aspects of packaging production that will enable these products to be replaced with environmentally friendly alternatives, especially in food applications.

Made with Solenis Barrier Coatings technologyMade with Solenis Barrier Coatings technology

The Enabling Technologies

Almost anything, of course, is technically recyclable at a cost. But what makes a paper package most valuable in this new world is whether a material is repulpable. To this end, the goal is to replace paraffin wax or polyethylene (PE), fluorocarbon for grease barriers and the use of PE in cups and food-service applications. To achieve this goal, special formulations are required for paper packaging that act as a barrier to water, hot/cold liquids, greases and oils, moisture and water vapor—to name just a few. Suitable replacement formulations include barrier biowaxes used for different applications. Individual barrier products can also form a “system” consisting of one to three different coatings, each having different functions, with the final system design depending on the end producer’s requirements.

As the packaging industry moves toward fiber-based material for more sustainable solutions, there are some key issues to consider when it comes to paper material formulation.

Is it repulpable? Repulpability enables creation of a segregation system for post-consumer cups that can be repulped, where the fiber is recovered and reused to produce paper and paperboard products, perhaps even back into cups. The value of the fiber in these cups is very high, enough to make it economically feasible to develop the infrastructure needed to collect, segregate and recover these containers after use. Therefore, the barrier formulation should enable repulpability. This is not typically economically viable with PE-coated cups.

Is it compostable? The long-term objective, of course, is to recover the fiber. In the short term, if the material can be redirected to composting facilities – as opposed to landfills – this helps with consumer messaging and is a step forward for brand owners and the environment as well. As a result, fiber material with compostable barrier formulations have a significant advantage over PE products, which cannot be composted. However, this is still secondary to repulpability.

How is the formulation produced? This is a key point on sustainable sourcing, where many consumer brand owners have aspirational goals of using more than 50 percent sustainably sourced raw materials. Manufacturers of paper barrier coating formulations are seeking to minimize non-fossil fuel derived components and maximize renewably sourced raw materials. Some barrier solutions for example are 100% non-fossil based. 

Is the barrier formulation functional? Barrier formulations must meet the functional requirements of the material being replaced. These requirements include resistance to oil, grease and water in applications like hamburger wrap, and resistance to staining for on-the-go coffee cups. Many paper-based packages are designed for consumer appeal and branding, and involve printing, sealing, gluing, flexibility and elasticity. As a result, paper barrier formulations must still allow the same packaging functionality while meeting sustainability goals.

Does the formulation facilitate manufacturing? One of the biggest advantages with some barrier coating formulations is that you can apply them using paper machine coaters, off-machine coaters or even flexo/reverse gravure printing presses. With some barrier coatings you can even convert the coated board into cups on existing cup-making machines designed to work with PE. As a result, very little capital expenditure is required to utilize these barrier systems; paper manufacturers can run them now if they have a coater.

The good news is that awareness of fiber as a functional packaging alternative continues to gain ground. For example, in the Next Gen Cup Challenge, a global consortium that includes major food industry players recently issued a challenge to “identify and commercialize existing and future solutions for the single-use, hot and cold fiber cup system.” Solutions could include cup lids, sleeves and straws, as well as reusable and alternative delivery systems. Nearly 500 entrepreneurs, inventors and scientists from more than 50 countries, including a team from Solenis, responded enthusiastically with ideas and potential solutions. Solenis was recognized as one of 12 final winners and work to scale its proposed solution is underway.

Working together, the paper industry can make a difference in reducing plastic waste in the environment and supporting the circular economy in 2019 and beyond.

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