James Cropper’s Richard Burnett explains why expert blending of upcycled and virgin fibre is the key to connecting the three cornerstones of modern papermaking.
The feverish focus on sustainability in the paper and packaging world is no secret. Neither is it exclusive to this industry. But as we all work on ways to leave little to no trace on the planet, over our shoulder, the need for performance and beautiful design is still very much present. There is no compromising on aesthetics and functionality while we work on circularity. If anything, demand for premium papers which deliver functionality for the converter or printer, and brand experience to the end user is only growing.
How do we deliver on the three cornerstones of modern papermaking…performance, appeal and circularity? It begins and ends with fibre.
With increasing legislative and consumer pressure on brands to do more for the environment when it comes to paper and packaging; giving waste fibre a second life is a great story to tell. However, we know through our own research and leading industry data that if you consider the carbon footprint, energy usage and water usage environmental indicators, there is no clear advantage or disadvantage to using wastepaper fibre feedstock over virgin wood.
In fact, the majority of the impact for both recycled and virgin paper is attributable to the combustion of fuels for pulp and paper production. However, assuming best in class technology is used, the impacts from virgin and recycled paper are broadly similar.
But what if the reclaimed fibre comes from difficult to recycle, high-volume waste streams which would otherwise end up in landfill or incineration. This was the fate of 2.5 billion single use coffee cups every year until 2013, when James Cropper pioneered the world’s first technology to extract the good quality paper fibre used in coffee cups, and upcycle it into beautiful, premium paper. This is a rich, UK based fibre source, and the responsible thing is it to give it a second, third and fourth life; something our CupCyclingTM facility can do.
The upside is not only environmental. This is a powerful story for brands to tell their consumers. The concept of circular design is ever present in the consumer mindset; but being able to say that your packaging was once a coffee cup takes it from the conceptual to the tangible. In turn, it garners brand loyalty.
Paper is sustainable by design. With the product cycle for paper encompassing renewable resources and recycling after use, paper truly embraces the principles of the circular economy. However, it’s also worth noting that a paper cycle based on waste fibre alone is not a viable option, as the fibres degrade in the recycling process and become unusable in papermaking after multiple uses. Fresh fibre from responsible sources is a key element of a healthy eco system, and a balanced stream of fresh and waste fibre is always required to keep the paper cycle working.
So while the right thing to do is to reclaim waste fibre, virgin fibre is also essential. Perhaps the solution is in variety and fibre blending? And the stats stack up. A recent independent Life Cycle Analysis report on our Rydal Collection showed the environmental impact of each of the fibre options available in the range. These include 100% post-consumer waste recycled, 40% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled and 100% fresh fibre from responsible forestry sources (FSC).
What became apparent was that the 40% recycled quality demonstrated more of a balance across the key measures;
- 100% PCW option showed least impact in terms of primary energy demand
- The 100% virgin option showed least impact on freshwater consumption
- There was no significant difference between the options on carbon footprint
The blended fresh and upcycled quality offers the best balance from an environmental perspective.
But what about appearance? What about the look and feel; the experience of paper which is also crucial to the consumer brand experience? Many believe that aesthetics and performance are best delivered through fresh fibre, since the paper fibres are cleaner and more consistent in quality; they have an affinity to colour and impart attributes such as stiffness and strength. Does the inclusion of reclaimed fibre sacrifice too much?
For us, there can be no compromise. With 175 years of premium papermaking knowledge behind us, we know that expertise in fibre selection and colour application, alongside a bespoke approach to each product, allow us to create paper products which give valuable waste streams a second life while maximising performance and aesthetics.
The fibre mix must be totally aligned to the end use, to ensure the paper quality performs well in subsequent print and conversion processes. For example, choosing only the very highest quality recycled fibre streams (such as CupCycling fibre) minimises issues with cleanliness to the point where we can confidently say that our reclaimed fibre is not just recycled, but upcycled. It is then blended to create something even more beautiful and premium than before.
It is true that some strength properties can be affected with the use of reclaimed fibre; however with 40% inclusion of some carefully selected pre and post-consumer, high strength fibre streams, we have seen excellent performance; further evidence that a blend is best. A great case study for this is our work with Burberry, which uses includes 40% CupCycling fibre for their packaging and retail shopping bags. Not only has this partnership seen 58 million coffee cups upcycled, but the end product is luxurious and robust.
Fibre selection, whether virgin or recycled is crucial in creating premium products which is why James Cropper develops and invests in world-leading technology to develop our own local source of very high quality pre and post-consumer upcycled fibre streams.
With all the evidence which we have to hand, it’s refreshing to conclude, that aesthetics and performance need not be sacrificed at the altar of circularity. It’s just in the blend.
 DEFRA - LCA of Paper Supply Systems
In an unprecedented move, the companies are open-sourcing the recipe and playbook to encourage all brands to leverage the breakthrough in their manufacturing processes.
Zume, the sustainability solutions company creating economically viable substitutes for single-use plastics, today announced a partnership with Solenis, a leading global producer of specialty chemicals. They are open-sourcing a PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) replacement for food packaging manufacturing to food manufacturers and CPG brands across the global market. To see the open-source process, go to: zume.com/pages/freefromPFAS.
In conjunction, Zume is announcing it will no longer manufacture any products that contain PFAS from its California packaging facility, effective immediately, and the company is collaborating with its global partners to ensure that all production globally is PFA-free by the end of 2021.
“Open-sourcing our PFA-free solution creates a path for brands across the world to remove plastics and harmful chemicals from their consumer packaging and single-use goods,” said Zume CEO and Chairman Alex Garden. “Brands have made pledges to remove PFAS and this new launch will enable them to deliver on their promises.”
After nine months of deep collaboration and R&D to create a solution that reduces the need for single-use plastics, Zume and Solenis are open-sourcing the recipe and manufacturing process so that all packaging manufacturers can adopt the technique and speed up the removal of harmful chemicals. This marks an important milestone for the industry, as two major companies unveil the complex process of creating a molded fiber packaging solution that ensures food grease and water resistance without the need for PFAS or harmful chemicals.
“Our goal is to encourage any manufacturer in the world to start using this technology as quickly as possible,” said Solenis CEO John Panichella. “Through this joint initiative with Zume, global brands can meet their commitments to eliminate the use of PFAS faster than ever before.”
The new scientific report cowritten by Zume and Solenis, Putting Forever Chemicals to Rest: An Open-Source Guide to PFAS-Free Packaging, details the findings from both companies’ scientists as they created and tested the new process. The coauthors conclude that products leveraging the new solution will be fully compostable within 90 days of disposal.
The joint team identified five key parameters — thermoforming, freeness, chemistry management, charge management and part formation — for achieving oil and grease resistance, with chemistry that eliminated PFAS and achieved two hours of oil holdout with 60°C oil. By following these process parameters and control strategy, manufacturers around the world will be able to provide end-use consumers with a fully functional product that does not pose a health risk.
PFAS, largely known as forever chemicals, are used to coat paper and cardboard containers for fast food and to-go boxes and have been linked to potentially harmful health effects, including decreased fertility, weakened immune system response and increased risk for certain cancers, according to the CDC. The Food and Drug Administration has mandated that these substances will not be allowed in the manufacturing of food-contact packaging after January 2024.
News of Zume’s PFA-free open-sourcing comes on the heels of several major moves from the company this year. In June, the company shared global expansion deals with 20+ countries spanning the UK, Europe and Russia, followed by sustainable manufacturing agreements with India’s Parason and Satia Industries in May. Most recently, Zume unveiled a high-profile partnership with Texas-based Jefferson Enterprise Energy to build a $220M, 100% clean energy-powered, sustainable manufacturing plant.
Last month, Delaware-based Solenis announced that it was merging with Sigura in an acquisition by Platinum Equity that was valued at more than $5 billion.
The study’s participants were Pamela Horine, VP Product Research and Compliance, Zume, Inc.; Christopher Dilkus, Senior Research Scientist, Solenis LLC; Cindy Chau, Quality Engineer, Zume Inc.; and Dottie Klein, Assistant Manager Sales, Solenis, LLC.
To see the open-source process, go to: zume.com/pages/freefromPFAS.
To partner with Zume and Solenis, go to: zume.com/pages/brands.
Solenis is a leading global producer of specialty chemicals, focused on delivering sustainable solutions for water-intensive industries, including the pulp, packaging paper and board, tissue and towel, oil and gas, petroleum refining, chemical processing, mining, biorefining, power and municipal markets. The company’s product portfolio includes a broad array of water treatment chemistries, process aids and functional additives, as well as state-of-the-art monitoring and control systems. These technologies are used by customers to improve operational efficiencies, enhance product quality, protect plant assets and minimize environmental impact. Headquartered in Wilmington, Delaware, the company has 41 manufacturing facilities strategically located around the globe and employs a team of approximately 5,000 professionals in 120 countries across five continents. Solenis is a 2021 US Best Managed Company.
For additional information about Solenis, please visit www.solenis.com
Founded in 2015, Zume is actively reducing the world’s plastic waste with economically viable substitutes for plastic packaging. As creators of the world’s most advanced molded-fiber manufacturing system, Zume is a global provider of sustainability solutions and offers a vast range of sustainable manufactured solutions and services across the food, beverage, healthcare, and CPG categories. For more information, go to zume.com and to see a video of how Zume works, please go here.
Efficiency and performance also in the creation of packaging: this is what Lucart is looking for. Lucart is one of the leading companies in the tissue products sector and has been pursuing sustainability objectives for many years, starting from recycled paper made with beverage cartons to biodegradable packaging.
Gabriele Coli, Lucart’s Engineering Manager, comments: "Primary and secondary packaging are of fundamental importance in our company, so we were looking for a solution that would guarantee quality, efficiency, and performance and that would allow us to respond to the growing demand for eco-sustainable packaging. The analyses of our technicians have shown that, to achieve our objectives, Kӧrber Casmatic was the best technology, so we decided to invest in 8 machines to make primary and secondary packaging”.
Designed to reach production speeds of up to 27 bags per minute, Casmatic CMB270 is able to pack in a high range of formats. Synonymous with quality and reliability, these machines are extremely flexible and versatile, allow energy savings of 60% thanks to the new TOSS longitudinal sealing system, and have been designed to wrap small packaging even at high production speeds. This model is also equipped with a new patented Revolver system that significantly improves the production speed for bundles with single rolls and packages.
CMB270 responds perfectly to Industry 4.0 demands because it is equipped with ALL-IN-ONE technology, an intelligent application that helps to integrate and harmonize the converting and packaging processes, maximizing the result, without the need for human intervention.
In addition to the packaging machines, Lucart has also equipped itself with a Perini MyLine converting line. This line is designed for the production of toilet and kitchen paper rolls with diameters up to 200 mm at a maximum speed of 600m / min and a production of 40log / min. Based on the consolidated Sincro exchange phase system, the Perini MyLine line is equipped with a laminator-embosser with 409mm diameter steel rollers, with DESL or Catalyst technology for the automatic change of steel rollers, in the Pro and Flexy versions.
Giuseppe Alberti Sales Manager Kӧrber comments Kӧrber comments: "Our relationship with Lucart is a long one - 80% of their lines are Kӧrber - this has also allowed for an important customization of the line. With this investment Lucart was able to access the best technology to optimize its production efficiency. A strong competitive advantage for a company that has always focused on high quality and product differentiation to be competitive ".
Lucart, a leading company in Europe in the production of tissue paper products (paper items for daily use such as toilet paper, kitchen paper, napkins, tablecloths, handkerchiefs etc.), airlaid products and MG paper, was founded in 1953 by the Pasquini Family. The company's production activities are distributed over 3 Business Units (Business to Business, Away from Home and Consumer) operating in the development and sales of products with brands such as Tenderly, Tutto, Grazie Natural and Smile (Consumer area), Lucart Professional, Tenderly Professional, Fato and Velo (Away from Home area). Lucart's production capacity exceeds 395,000 tonnes/year of paper on 12 paper machines.Its consolidated turnover amounts to more than €500 million, with more than 1,600 employees in 10 production plants (five in Italy, one in France, one in Hungary, two in Spain and one in UK) and one Logistics Center in Italy.Lucart is part of the United Nations Global Compact Network Italy and since 2018 has been a member of the Ellen MacArhur Foundation, the international organization leading the transition to the circular economy.
Körber Business Area Tissue
At Körber, our ultimate goal is to empower our customers’ ongoing success. We are the only truly integrated and global provider of advanced solutions for the tissue business. We offer the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of tissue technology to support customers across the entire value chain — from roll to fold, from converting to packaging. Our advanced, automated, and easy-to-use integrated solutions are a fundamental asset to shape the success in tissue, take our customers operations to the next level, and strengthen their overall financial performance while optimizing their total cost of ownership.
We are Körber – an international technology group with about 10,000 employees, more than 100 locations worldwide and a common goal: We turn entrepreneurial thinking into customer success and shape the technological change. In the Business Areas Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain, Tissue and Tobacco, we offer products, solutions and services that inspire. We act fast to customer needs, we execute ideas seamlessly, and with our innovations we create added value for our customers. In doing so, we are increasingly building on ecosystems that solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Körber AG is the holding company of the Körber Group.
Mondi, a leading global packaging and paper manufacturer, is rolling out a comprehensive portfolio of corrugated packaging solutions for the online grocery market across Central Europe. Using its wealth of experience in eCommerce packaging, Mondi has created clever new solutions for the diverse needs of grocery retailers who can now deliver a variety of goods, from perishable food to wine bottles in fit-for-purpose packaging. All boxes in the eGrocery portfolio are fully recyclable and meet customers' requirements of sustainability, cost efficiency and product protection.
- Seven new packaging solutions meet the growing demand for online grocery (eGrocery) delivery services
- Sustainable eGrocery portfolio offers a packaging solution for a range of delivery channels including click & collect to local or nationwide deliveries
- Innovative designs offer retailers fully recyclable, efficient and convenient packaging options
Mondi’s latest eGrocery packaging solutions follow the successful introduction of its BCoolBox in March and its VinoBoxes in May. Grocery retailers can choose from Mondi’s expanded portfolio of seven sustainable corrugated packaging solutions for all kinds of grocery pick-up and delivery options, such as click & collect, local deliveries via retailers' own vehicle fleets or long-distance deliveries via third-party carriers. The boxes can be adapted to be used by small and large scale retailers.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the popularity of online grocery shopping, especially in our Central European markets. Our customers in the retail grocery sector are quickly adapting to growing consumer demand for pick-up and delivery options. We pride ourselves in developing smart, fit-for-purpose packaging to meet our customers’ needs, which is why we’re rolling out these efficient, sustainable solutions designed for a variety of delivery methods and styles,” says Armand Schoonbrood, Chief Operating Officer Corrugated Solutions at Mondi.
Mondi’s latest eGrocery packaging solutions include:
Pick&ShipBox – a one-pack solution for all channels. It adapts to multiple requirements and offers convenience features such as easy lifting and opening.
PantryBox – for quick and easy filling and closing. It is strong, stackable, and suitable for carrier shipping or click & collect.
RecipeBox – for doorstep delivery of fresh produce and groceries. It has an integrated lid and optional holes for better ventilation.
EatsBox – for smaller local deliveries by bike or scooter. It is lightweight and offers a quick filling option.
Click&LoadBox – for click & collect of mixed grocery orders. It has handles for loading into cars and carrying home.
Click&EnjoyBox – for holiday, gift or seasonal promotion packs. It has compartments for tall products like bottles, with an easy handle carrier.
Click&CarryBox – for heavier mixed orders, providing strength and stability. It has an integrated handle for easy carrying.
“Mondi's action plan MAP2030 has ambitious sustainability commitments over the next ten years including a target to make 100% of our products reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. This expansion of our eGrocery portfolio is another example of how we want to drive real change and support retailers to use sustainable packaging solutions that keep materials in circulation and prevent waste. Whether near or far, fragile glass containers or perishable vegetables, our eGrocery portfolio offers efficient and protective packaging solutions,” concludes Schoonbrood.
Mondi is a global leader in packaging and paper, contributing to a better world by making innovative packaging and paper solutions that are sustainable by design. Our business is integrated across the value chain – from managing forests and producing pulp, paper and plastic films, to developing and manufacturing effective industrial and consumer packaging solutions. Sustainability is at the centre of our strategy and intrinsic in the way we do business. We lead the industry with our customer-centric approach, EcoSolutions, where we ask the right questions to find the most sustainable solution. In 2020, Mondi had revenues of €6.66 billion and underlying EBITDA of €1.35 billion.
Mondi has a premium listing on the London Stock Exchange (MNDI), and a secondary listing on the JSE Limited (MNP). Mondi is a FTSE 100 constituent, and has been included in the FTSE4Good Index Series since 2008 and the FTSE/JSE Responsible Investment Index Series since 2007.
Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, announced on 27 July 2021 an investment of EUR 210 million in increasing folding boxboard capacity at its Husum mill in Sweden. The company is responding to growing demand for sustainably produced packaging materials that support the circular economy. The investment strengthens Metsä Board's position as the leading producer of folding boxboard in Europe.
At present, the annual folding boxboard capacity of the Husum’s paperboard machine BM1 is 400,000 tonnes, and after the investment it will rise to 600,000 tonnes. Additional capacity will enter the market during 2024–2025. The investment value is approximately EUR 210 million, divided in 2021–2024 and mainly in 2022–2023. The investment will be financed with current cash funds and future cash flows from operating activities. The Husum port concept will be examined separately, taking into account the growing logistics volumes of the entire integrated mill, and the necessary potential investments will be decided later.
Preparatory work for construction will begin in October 2021 in connection with the planned annual maintenance shutdown of the Husum integrated mill. The ramp-up of additional capacity is expected to start in autumn 2023 and full production capacity is expected to be reached by the end of 2025.
The investment will increase Metsä Board's annual sales by approximately EUR 200 million. In addition, the investment is estimated to have a positive impact of approximately EUR 50 million on the company's annual comparable EBITDA. Sales growth and EBITDA improvement are expected to be achieved in full in 2026.
Metsä Board’s operating result for July–September 2021 will include an impairment loss of approximately EUR 5 million related to the paperboard machine BM1, and it will be reported as an item affecting comparability.
The additional capacity will be directed mainly to the North American and European markets, where the demand growth for Metsä Board's premium lightweight paperboards is expected to continue. Metsä Board's folding boxboard is used, for example, in food, pharmaceutical and cosmetics packaging as well as in food service packaging.
Metsä Group is leading the way in advancing the bioeconomy. We invest in growth, bioproduct development and a fossil free future. The raw material for our products is renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. We focus on the growth sectors of the forest industry: wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards, as well as tissue and greaseproof papers.
Metsä Group’s annual sales amount to approximately EUR 5.5 billion, and we have around 9,200 employees in 30 countries. Our international Group has its roots in the Finnish forests: our parent company is Metsäliitto Cooperative which is owned by 100,000 forest owners.
Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards. We focus on lightweight and high-quality folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. The pure fresh fibres we use in our products are a renewable resource, traceable to origin in sustainably managed northern forests. We are a forerunner in sustainability, and we aim for completely fossil free mills and raw materials by 2030.
Together with our customers we develop innovative packaging solutions to create better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. In 2020, our sales totalled EUR 1.9 billion, and we have about 2,400 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.
The winners of BillerudKorsnäs’ design competition PIDA Germany – Packaging Impact Design Award – have been selected. The most prestigious prize of the competition, PIDA Gold Award, went to the design student Hagen Neugebauer from Hochschule der Medien in Stuttgart who also won the prize “Highest level of Innovation”. The winning packaging project “Krystal Kream” is designed for a vegan Italian ice cream that impressed the jury with its innovative idea and construction. “It’s amazing. I’m stunned. I didn’t believe that this could happen. There was so much good work done by every group” says Hagen Neugebauer.
The winning packaging project “Krystal Kream” responds perfectly to this year’s brief – to create a package that speaks to our senses. The motivation of the jury reads:
“The overall idea was felt to be future-proof and ground-breaking, as many consumers would like alternative solutions for the packaging materials used today – also in this market segment. Use of materials, shaping, handling and differentiation from existing packaging solutions should enable the start towards a better future with this idea.”
Hagen Neugebauer who won the PIDA Gold Award at the German PIDA event automatically qualifies for the Grand Finale. At the final – which takes place at the Luxe Pack trade show in Monaco on September 27 – an international winner will be appointed. This means that the German winner will be up against the winners of the three other semi-finals; students from USA/UK, France, and Sweden.
More students awarded
At the event, another three prizes were presented. The winner of the PIDA Gold Award “Krystal Kream” was awarded once again and received the “Highest Level of Innovation Award” with the motivation:
”A packaging concept, which is still completely unknown for the relevant market segment, convinced the jury with the materials used, innovative design and functionality of individual components, which were consistently made from the same material through skilful construction”
The “Highest Level of User Friendliness Award” went to the entry “hey Ocean!” created by Nadine Voll and Judith Kellermann from Hochschule der Medien, Stuttgart. A packaging solution made for bath bombs, and the jury said:
“For this project, from the jury's point of view, an overall concept was developed that takes the consumer with them from the beginning to the end of the story told by the product and accompanies them with various features. A packaging solution that, together with the product, surprises and delights the buyer in all phases of use.”
The “Highest Level of Sustainability Award” was presented to Vanessa Hoffer from Hochschule der Medien, Stuttgart for the entry “Miss Fortune”, a packaging solution for reusable razors. The jury’s motivation read:
“With the aim of replacing plastic blisters with a pure cardboard solution, a new packaging was created for reusable razors that not only fulfilled this goal, but also triggered all steps of optical and haptic perception and was also designed down to the last detail. The tamper-evident closure, child safety and product fixation were also considered, as was the overall aesthetic effect of the pack through graphics, embossed areas and varnish effects.”
The winners were selected by a jury of prominent industry professionals, who were very impressed by this year’s contestants.
“The jurors were so impressed with the thoughtful and exciting concepts presented by the teams in this competition. We discussed and debated the entries at length before determining the winning team in each category. Each participant should be so very proud of the work accomplished under extraordinary circumstances,” says Helmut Sieber of Edelmann, chairman of the jury for PIDA Germany.
A creative arena for the packaging community
BillerudKorsnäs, the company behind PIDA, arranges the competition in cooperation with leading universities and design colleges in the USA, the UK, France, Germany, and Sweden. The competition gives the students an opportunity to work on a real packaging design project under the same conditions as an authentic assignment. What’s more, it is also a chance for the students to showcase their ideas and creativity to established professionals who attend the events every year to be inspired and meet the packaging designers of tomorrow.
“With PIDA, we want to drive the development of packaging design forward while also establishing a meeting place for the industry and the schools. This year marks the 16th anniversary of the competition and interest for PIDA grows steadily for every year – at the schools as well as in the packaging business,” says Anders Gathu, Marketing Manager BillerudKorsnäs.
BillerudKorsnäs provides packaging materials and solutions that challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. We are a world leading provider of primary fiber-based packaging materials and have customers in over 100 countries. The company has 8 production sites in Sweden, Finland and the UK and about 4 500 employees in over 13 countries. BillerudKorsnäs has an annual turnover of about SEK 24 billion and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. http://www.billerudkorsnas.com/
For the 16th consecutive year the international packaging design competition PIDA (Packaging Impact Design Award) is arranged by BillerudKorsnäs. Around 200 design students from France, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and the USA participate. At each national event winners are selected in the following categories: Highest Level of Sustainability, Highest Level of Innovation, Highest Level of User Friendliness, and PIDA Gold Award. The competition aims to demonstrate the importance of packaging to products, brands and the environment.
Ensuring that vaccine vials and their potentially life-changing contents remain safe, sterile and identifiable throughout their tightly controlled supply chain is no easy task, and taking risks is not an option. With the new extended 360 Service offering, Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is testing the paperboards and simulating packaging designs used by pharma manufacturers to package and protect vaccine doses, providing absolute confidence that the materials are up to the task.
COVID-19 and other vaccines are typically stored and transported in extremely cold conditions, which can be as low as -70 degrees Celsius, before being thawed out ready for administration. The secondary paperboard packaging must be able to withstand these temperature extremes and protect the vials throughout the entire process.
When a converter is producing packages for cold-chain transportation they have to be 100% certain that the materials they are using are appropriate. This is where Metsä Board’s in-depth testing and simulation capabilities are extremely valuable for the pharma industry.
“Paperboard for pharma packaging needs to retain its specified thickness, mechanical strength and water absorption properties regardless of the conditions it faces, and it must not affect the primary packaging in any way. Any changes in dimensions could cause curling or bulging, which could pose a risk to the integrity of the packaging and therefore the safety of the product inside. We are able to test paperboard and packaging samples in both extremely cold and extremely humid conditions, and develop packaging strength simulations to demonstrate how a package will perform in the real world,” Markku Leskelä, VP Research and Product Development, Metsä Board, says.
At its Excellence Centre in Äänekoski, central Finland, Metsä Board has the capabilities to test the performance of paperboard and pharmaceutical packaging samples across a wide temperature and humidity range. The conditions can be varied according to the specific needs of each individual case, and it is also possible to programme different cyclic temperature and humidity changes to mimic the real-life conditions faced by vaccines as they travel along the supply chain.
“With the help of a local partner we can test packaging samples down to -70 degrees Celsius and combine transportation tests with board conditioning tests,” says Leskelä. “This kind of thorough research provides our customers with the confidence that the paperboard they want to use is appropriate for the application in question. And if the results show that it is not, we can recommend an alternative.”
Metsä Board’s simulation capabilities include finite element (FEM) simulation, where it is possible to take a 3D design drawing or measure the dimensions of an existing package sample, and use this structural data together with the strength data of the paperboard to calculate the strength of a complete packaging design. “With powerful computers and skilled personnel at our disposal, we can perform this kind of simulation within a single day to help speed up the process of getting a critical drug to market,” Leskelä highlights.
Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards. We focus on lightweight and high-quality folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. The pure fresh fibres we use in our products are a renewable resource, traceable to origin in sustainably managed northern forests. We are a forerunner in sustainability, and we aim for completely fossil free mills and raw materials by 2030.Together with our customers we develop innovative packaging solutions to create better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. In 2020, our sales totalled EUR 1.9 billion, and we have about 2,400 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.
Metsä Group leads the way in the bioeconomy. We invest in growth, developing bioproducts and a fossil free future. The raw material for our products is renewable wood from sustainably managed northern forests. We focus on the growth sectors of the forest industry: wood supply and forest services, wood products, pulp, fresh fibre paperboards, and tissue and greaseproof papers.
Metsä Group’s annual sales is approximately EUR 5.5 billion, and we have around 9,200 employees in 30 countries. Our international Group has its roots in the Finnish forest: our parent company is Metsäliitto Cooperative owned by 100,000 forest owners.
WestRock Company (NYSE: WRK), a leading provider of differentiated, sustainable paper and packaging solutions, have just announced the future retirement of Jeff Chalovich, president of Corrugated Packaging and chief commercial officer, after an incredible 23-year career with WestRock. Moving forward, WestRock has also announced an evolution of its commercial and operational leadership structure and team reporting to president and chief executive officer, David B. Sewell.
Jeff Chalovich has made substantial contributions to both WestRock and the paper and packaging industry. During his career, Jeff has held various management and leadership roles in the Company’s commercial, containerboard and corrugated packaging businesses. He will retire from WestRock in August 2021.
“Jeff is well respected across the industry as an expert in corrugated packaging, and he has led the commercial and corrugated team incredibly well during his time with our Company,” said Sewell. “As a member of our leadership team, Jeff has led the development of our commercial organization and set the strategic and operational foundation for our corrugated packaging business. I and the rest of the WestRock team wish Jeff the very best in retirement.”
In addition, the Company announced a new commercial and operational leadership structure aligned with WestRock’s goals of leveraging the power of the enterprise, accelerating innovation and leading in sustainability. This new structure will enhance market alignment, enable greater agility and deliver stronger efficiencies.
"This structure aligns with the focus I have highlighted on enhancing our commercial strategy, operational excellence and productivity across the enterprise, which are all important levers to meet and exceed the needs of our customers by delivering differentiated solutions that will accelerate profitable growth, " said Sewell. "I am confident the changes we are making will further strengthen our Company and create value for our shareholders."
New Executive Leadership Structure and Roles
- Patrick (Pat) Lindner is assuming the role of president, Commercial, Innovation and Sustainability. In this role, Pat is responsible for leading the Company’s strategy, marketing, innovation, sustainability, enterprise commercial operations and machinery business. Bringing these critical functions together will accelerate the Company’s efforts to bring complete solutions for WestRock’s customers through WestRock’s unique portfolio.
- Patrick Kivits is assuming the role of president, Consumer Packaging. This business includes folding cartons and specialty packaging in the branded consumer, healthcare and food and beverage businesses.
- Pete Durette is assuming the role of president, Corrugated Packaging, leading the converting sales and operations for the corrugated box business.
- John O’Neal is assuming the role of president, Global Paper. This new organization combines the sales and commercial operations of the Consumer and Corrugated paperboard and containerboard businesses.
- Tom Stigers is now responsible for the operations of all WestRock mills in the role of president, Mill Operations. By combining the Consumer and Corrugated mill operations in one organization, WestRock will drive greater efficiency and effectiveness across the mill network.
WestRock (NYSE:WRK) partners with our customers to provide differentiated, sustainable paper and packaging solutions that help them win in the marketplace. WestRock’s team members support customers around the world from locations spanning North America, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Learn more at www.westrock.com
SWAPP® to paper packaging for a sustainable future! SWAPP® with an extra P for paper is a range of fibre-based packaging materials from BillerudKorsnäs to enable transition from plastic to paper and meet new consumer demands through better sustainability performance for people and the planet.
BillerudKorsnäs’ SWAPP® is an opportunity for companies to grow business by meeting new consumer and regulatory demands through renewable and innovative paper applications. SWAPP® is a collaborative and seamless process where the BillerudKorsnäs guides brand owners and retailers through the transformation towards sustainable paper packaging solutions.
“The FMCG packaging market is in a transformation phase – immense change will have to take place if brand owners and retailers are to meet directives and fulfil corporate commitments by 2025. With the SWAPP® offering BillerudKorsnäs provides sustainable paper alternatives to resolve some of the most imminent challenges: driving plastic reduction, CO2 reduction, and increasing recycling rates”, says Patrik Bosander, Director Packaging Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs.
BillerudKorsnäs takes responsibility for the transition from A to Z. Within a SWAPP® project the team supervises all actions to deliver a solution designed for consumer appeal and commercial performance. BillerudKorsnäs can provide paper material expertise, industrial experience, a network of converters and designers and prepare for a full-scale industrial packaging production.
“SWAPP® is about focusing on the needs and market requirements of brand owners and retailers as they move to paper solutions. Our brand owner managers and project teams collaborate with the key functions within the brand owner’s organization – packaging development, brand management, production – to deliver paper solutions that are “on brand” and are suited for their own production scale-up. We orchestrate the critical players in the supply chain: from the brand’s production hall and filling machine adaptation, to converting and guidance to capable partners and ultimately to our own paper mills and innovation teams.” says Kristopher Fain, Director Solutions Sales, BillerudKorsnäs.
BillerudKorsnäs provides packaging materials and solutions that challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future. We are a world-leading provider of primary fibre based packaging materials and have customers in over 100 countries. The company has 8 production units in Sweden, Finland and the UK and about 4500 employees in over 13 countries. BillerudKorsnäs has an annual turnover of about SEK 24 billion and is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm. www.billerudkorsnas.com
Penn Color’s penneffex™ delivers a high-end, eye-catching finish for FMCG packaged products. With nearly unlimited customization options, the penneffex™ line combines Penn Color’s creativity, expertise in colors and special effects and knowledge in manufacturing processes, to inspire creative brand design ideas in product categories such as home care, personal care, food and beverage, and more.
With variations including matte, brushed metal, frost, metallic, luster, and bubbles, penneffex™ offers brands a powerful way to engage with the consumers’ senses and emotions. Whether the consumer is walking through the store, or idlily shopping on-line, penneffex™ enables brand owners and creative marketing teams to better engage with their loyal and new customer base to create a unique and eye-catching product design that conveys brand values like high-end quality, sustainability, transparency, and more. The products utilize creativity and advanced technologies to bring product packaging in line with brand’s messaging and values.
“The core concept of penneffex™ is to create building blocks of unique and differentiated colors and special effects: these building blocks become a source of inspiration for product design teams and they are used in bespoke formulations, developed “live” with our customers, in our technical center.” said Phil Riccardi, Industry Manager Packaging North America. “In a typical 3 day blitz session, we utilize our extensive capabilities and a fast iteration process, to design and prototype 70 to 80 unique concepts, which are presented in their finished part form: with penneffex™, creativity has no boundaries and our development process reduces time to market by months”
“The penneffex™ line sets consumer goods products apart from other items on the shelf, by pushing the limits of product packaging design to achieve colors and effects not yet seen on the market today.” said Simon Clarke, Industry Manager Packaging Europe & Asia. “Part of the differentiation comes from our ability to combine colors and effects with the latest enabling technologies. For example, through our own prototyping capabilities and our close relationship with leading equipment manufacturers, we can use multilayer co-injection to explore hundreds more design combinations.”
Penn Color’s penneffex™ solutions are ideal for unifying brand design across a number of different products, as well as for unique packaging redesigns that are imaginative and product-inspired.