PulPac reveals partnership with RZ Mekpart and the RZ Group of specialized engineering contract manufacturers, further extending capabilities, expertise, and capacity of the Dry Molded Fiber network.
The objective of the partnership between RZ and PulPac is to combine significant industrial experience, secure machining, and manufacturing capabilities as well as spread know-how on tooling for Dry Molded Fiber.
“RZ is proud to partner with PulPac, bringing a network of leading manufacturing entities in Sweden and providing support with our extensive expertise into efficient tooling construction and machine processing.
We see strong market forces towards replacing plastics, especially from consumers, and that Dry Molded Fiber is a very promising substitute that can compete on cost and sustainability” comments Lars Kihlström, CEO at RZ Mekpart AB.PulPac continues to expand the network and take holistic responsibility to secure upstream and downstream applicability of the technology. Together with RZ, the Dry Molded Fiber Community can now benefit from significantly increased tooling capacity, leading to shorter lead times and quicker time to market.
“We welcome RZ Mekpart and the RZ Group as a trusted partner in tooling production. Our efforts to scale supply chain and build partnerships with leading players in the value chain continues to yield advantages for the Dry Molded Fiber community. These partnerships and the collaborative approach are essential to enable scaling in support of the on-going global transition to fiber and away from single-use plastics. We welcome all parties in the value chain to join the community and support the transition to sustainable packaging and single-use products” comments Linus Larsson, Chief Executive Officer at PulPac.
About RZ Group & RZ Mekpart AB
The RZ Group consists of twelve accomplished companies for specialized engineering. An optimal subcontractor and system partner. RZ Mekpart AB is a modern, full-service business founded in 1976. Today we have 50 employees and have a wide business offer based on specialized expertise. Our range runs from prototypes to long-series production and assembly of complex parts. Our business concept is to identify what our customer needs and find fast, effective, and affordable solutions. We do this by leveraging extensive resources and expertise combined with the flexibility of being a small company. RZ Mekpart AB has quality and environment certifications. www.rzg.se
PulPac provides the packaging industry with a groundbreaking manufacturing technology for low-cost, high-performance fiber-based packaging and single-use products. By pioneering the technology of cellulose molding PulPac enables their customers to replace single-use plastics with a sustainable and cost competitive alternative globally. www.pulpac.com
About Dry Molded Fiber
Dry Molded Fiber, invented and patented by PulPac, is a manufacturing technology designed for the circular economy – using renewable pulp and cellulose resources to produce low cost, high performance, fiber-based packaging, and single-use products. Dry Molded Fiber gives up to 80-90% lower CO2 footprint at similar cost as plastic. It is up to ten times as efficient as conventional fiber molding invented over 100 years ago. The dry process also saves massive amounts of valuable water resources. In addition, energy savings are significant - as the molded products need no drying.
Mitsubishi HiTec Paper produces recyclable barrier papers with water-based coatings for food and non-food packaging under the brand name barricote®. In the EU, the so-called SUPD (Single Use Plastic Directive) has created a great deal of uncertainty for this innovative and sustainable packaging material, on which we would like to take a position, as follows.
By July 3, 2021, two years after the Single Use Plastic Directive (EU) 2019/904 came into force in the European Union, the member states had to transpose the directive into national law. We expressly support the goal of avoiding and reducing littering and pollution through single-use plastic.
The intention of the guidelines published at the end of May 2021 was to provide clarity about the interpretation of the terms used in the directive. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case, because the conceptual definitions in the guidelines have created a great deal of uncertainty in paper production and processing. In particular, this concerns the statements about what is to be understood by a “main structural component” and by a “plastic coating”. It is true that the regulation and guideline underline the fact that paper can function as a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic items. At the same time, however, it is stated: "If, however, a plastic coating [...] is applied to the surface of a material made of paper or cardboard or another material in order to offer protection against water or grease, the end product is considered to be a composite article, [...] and [falls] [...] within the scope of the directive."
In this context, we expressly point out that the application of aqueous dispersions to the paper surface used by us for the production of our barricote barrier papers cannot be equated with a "plastic coating" - as so-called in the guidelines. No separate plastic layer is produced, but instead the natural and synthetic materials selectively protect the underlying paper against external influences, without creating a structure-giving or separable plastic layer.
These contradicting and ambiguous definitions of terms lead to great uncertainty in future product design. In the packaging sector, this inhibits the development of innovative biogenic and paper-based materials that are developed with the aim of achieving the best possible recyclability and biodegradability.
We therefore support the demands of the PTS (Papiertechnische Stiftung) and the DIE PAPIERINDUSTRIE e.V. association to the legislative bodies to create clarity in the interpretation of the directive and laws in the interests of the companies subject to them, and to expressly exclude papers with water-based dispersion coatings from the scope of the directive.
Further explanations of our point of view:
For over six years we have been making a valuable contribution to the actual goal of SUPD with our innovative barricote barrier papers, namely the reduction of pollution and littering of the environment with single-use plastics. Because our barrier papers are fully recyclable in the waste paper cycle, confirmed by PTS and cyclos-HTP, and replace classis plastic products.
Today ensuring full protection of packaged goods is still not possible without polymer-containing barrier products. But the proportion of plastic can already be significantly reduced and the product can thus be produced in a recyclable manner. We are intensively researching on completely plastic-free solutions and expect the first results within the next few years. We also believe that the use of bio-based and biodegradable plastics in combination with paper as a carrier material should continue to be an important component of alternative barrier products. Many of the substances used are approved in everyday products and food and have been shown to pose no health risk.
Aqueous dispersions themselves are not dimensionally stable without a carrier material. They do not represent a separable and stand-alone component and therefore, in our opinion, do not fall under the SUPD. Coatings made from aqueous plastic dispersions are to be regarded as paints, varnishes and adhesives (bonding agents, adhesion promoters, etc.). They do not form an independent structural element that can stand alone, but are only stable in connection with a carrier material as the actual component.
Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe GmbH is a German subsidiary of Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd., Japan, one of the world's leading manufacturers of specialty paper. The roughly 770 employees at Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe produce high-quality direct thermal, inkjet, carbonless, label and barrier papers for flexible packaging at two tradition-rich locations in Bielefeld and Flensburg. Each factory stands out for own base paper production, state-of-the-art production machinery and innovative coating technologies. Through its dense global sales network, Mitsubishi HiTec Paper Europe supplies a full range of specialty papers for many applications and printing technologies – and is a highly capable partner whenever customized coated paper solutions are required.
Smurfit Kappa Group plc (SKG:ID SKG:LN) (together with its subsidiaries, “Smurfit Kappa” or the “Group”), one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of paper-based packaging products, with operations in Europe and the Americas, have just announced a dual-tranche offering by one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries, Smurfit Kappa Treasury Unlimited Company, comprising €500 million in aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2029 and €500 million in aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2033 (together, the “New Notes”) (the “Offering”).
The Group intends to use an amount equivalent to the net proceeds of the Offering to finance or refinance a portfolio of eligible assets and expenditures (“Eligible Green Projects”) in accordance with its previously announced green finance framework (the “Green Finance Framework”), which the Group may, in the future, update in line with developments in the market. The Green Finance Framework and the ISS ESG Second Party Opinion thereon are available at smurfitkappa.com/investors.
Under the Green Finance Framework, Eligible Green Projects include circular economy adapted products, production technologies and processes and/or certified eco-efficient products, such as: (i) reclamation of used fibres; (ii) recycling of used fibres; (iii) paper milling; and (iv) packaging conversion. In addition, Eligible Green Projects include the environmentally sustainable management of living natural resources and land use, such as the procurement of responsibly-sourced raw materials or ingredients (like wood, pulp, paper and recovered paper) and the utilisation of forests and raw materials certified in accordance with (i) Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards; (ii) Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI); and (iii) Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
The Group intends to issue a notice today for the conditional redemption of €500 million in aggregate principal amount of the 2.375% Senior Notes due 2024 (the “2024 Notes”), issued by Smurfit Kappa Acquisitions Unlimited Company pursuant to an indenture dated 24 January 2017. The Group intends to use cash on hand and/or existing available facilities to fund the redemption of the 2024 Notes and pay accrued but unpaid interest thereon. The redemption is currently anticipated to take place on 25 September 2021 and is conditional upon the completion of the Offering and the receipt by the Group of the net proceeds from the sale of the New Notes on or before the redemption date. There can be no assurance that the Offering or the redemption of the 2024 Notes will be completed.
The New Notes are being offered in a private placement and there will be no public offering of the New Notes. The New Notes will be offered and sold only to non-U.S. persons outside the United States in accordance with Regulation S under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
An innovative corrugated bin for face masks by Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, has been awarded a ScanStar in a Nordic packaging design competition organised by the Scandinavian Packaging Association. The mask bin, made of lightweight and durable corrugated board, helps to collect and dispose of used face masks easily and safely. Metsä Board developed the concept together with packaging design agency Futupack and corrugated board converter Capertum.
The competition jury commented: “A simple but clever solution for a new problem – mask littering. The bin is made from corrugated material, and is easy to assemble even without the instructions which have been printed on the bin itself. The lid makes the light packaging more rigid and, if you turn the lid, it closes the package when it is full. Good printing supports the product. The bin is also accessible to those who have disabilities.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought its own challenges to waste management and together with Futupack and Capertum we wanted to develop a solution to this. In our design, we paid special attention to the lightness of the material, its durability and the ease of use and consumer guidance,” said Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director EMEA and APAC at Metsä Board.
MetsäBoard Pro WKL 160 g/m2 coated white kraftliner was used as the top liner of the mask bin. The Finnish corrugated board converter Capertum printed the E-flute corrugated board in silk screen. Thanks to fresh fibre board the waste bin is strong but light, which reduces the carbon footprint.
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.
Stora Enso has received four Nordic ScanStar awards for convenient, eco-friendly packaging designs that replace plastic. All winning designs are made of renewable wood fiber. This year the ScanStar awards received a total of 32 submissions from the Nordic countries and 14 awards were given out. The jury assessed the level of competition to be high.
Stora Enso’s winning designs are:
Eco-friendly magazine packaging concept for Vogue Scandinavia
Vogue Scandinavia is disrupting the publishing industry in many ways. One of the unique features of Vogue Scandinavia is its sustainable packaging concept. There are two packaging versions: Normal Edition and the Collectors’ Item Limited Edition made from EnsocoatTM by Stora Enso. The package replaces the traditional single use plastic wrapping used in magazines.
The magazine and packaging are carbon neutral, made with a renewable, low-carbon raw material, and energy efficient production. The remaining emissions are offset by using the CarbonZero service by Stora Enso, in collaboration with compensation partner South Pole.
The innovative berry container comes in several sizes and can be used for many other products too. It replaces plastic packaging – even the integrated lid is made from corrugated board. Half a million renewable berry containers can help cut out 4500 kilograms of fossil plastic. The packaging is cost-effective, easy to use, rigid, and effortless to flatten before recycling. Customer-specific images can be printed on the package to increase visibility and attractiveness.
Lighting track Multipack
The corrugated board packaging is optimised for transporting fragile products. It has innovative folding with corner protections. It helps streamline the packaging process, helps avoid plastics as plastic wrapping is not needed, and it is very protective and reduces transportation damages. The packaging is user-friendly in packing and unpacking and simple to recycle.
Packaging for intelligent fridge
The renewable logistics packaging is made for an intelligent fridge, currently used by Selfly Store by Stora Enso. Selfly Store is a complete, easy to set up solution that enables you to run your own unmanned self-service micro-store. The packaging replaces solutions that typically include a mix of materials: EPS, shrink-plastic, and wood. It is trouble-free to recycle as this packaging is fully made of renewable corrugated board. The packaging process does not require any external tools and supports ergonomic work throughout the supply chain.
Scanstar is a joint Nordic packaging competition held annually since 1969 by the Scandinavian Packaging Association SPA. The competition is open for all packaging solutions designed, converted, or used in one of the Nordic countries. Scanstar 2021 was organised by Svenska Förpackningsgillet.
Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has some 23 000 employees, and sales in over 50 countries. Our sales in 2020 were EUR 8.6 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm AB (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY). storaenso.com
Södra’s investment in circularity continues. Through a new partnership with Swedish company Trioworld, Södra’s timber packaging will now contain 30 percent recycled plastic, which will reduce annual emissions from the packaging by around 23 percent.
“With the new packaging, we are ensuring high-quality deliveries for our customers, while also taking an additional step towards a more circular business model with lower emissions. This is a trend we will continue to pursue. On the challenges with sustainability, there is no finish line to pass and we are constantly working to be the market leader and develop our processes. This will help Södra and our customers contribute to a sustainable climate transition,” said Andreas Jonasson, Sales & Marketing Director at Södra Wood.
Reduce emissions by 23 percent
The new timber packaging is called Trioworld Loop and will be used for all Södra’s timber deliveries – both domestic and exported. The material contains at least 30 percent Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) Plastics. As a result, Södra expects to cut its emissions by nearly 385 tonnes of CO₂ equivalents per year, corresponding to 23 percent of annual emissions from the packaging.
Södra is first to offer timber packaging with PCR plastic in larger scale. The development is in line with Södra’s targets for reducing its emissions and building a climate-positive business.
“Trioworld believes in long-term partnerships. When developing sustainable solutions for tomorrow, ambitious partners such as Södra are a key lever for minimising the environmental impact of packaging without compromising on transport safety or the protection of the timber. Our solution with 30 percent post-consumer recycled content will significantly reduce the environmental impact of the packaging – and that’s just the beginning of sustainable packaging for the forest industry from Trioworld,” said Adam Fransson, Senior Account Manager, Trioworld.
Södra’s timber products will be delivered with the new Trioworld Loop packaging from September.
Founded in 1938, Södra is Sweden’s largest forest-owner association, with 53,000 forest owners as its members. We conduct modern and responsible forestry, and operate state-of-the-art mills in which we process our raw material. In 2020, net sales amounted to SEK 20 billion and employees totalled 3,100. Through value-generating relationships and a long-term approach, Södra shows the way for the next generation of forestry.
$5 million investment will help SinnovaTek meet the processing and packaging needs of emerging food and beverage brands
Lewis & Clark AgriFood has announced its $5 million investment in SinnovaTek from the Lewis & Clark Rural Business Investment Company (RBIC) Fund II.
Founded in 2015 and based in Raleigh, North Carolina, SinnovaTek provides a variety of B2B services to the consumer packaged goods industry. Over the past year, the company has seen significant growth in their aseptic co-packing business, which offers ingredient sourcing, product development and processing, as well as end packaging, to a variety of small and emerging brands as well as large national brands.
“SinnovaTek is a key player in the next generation of CPG food and beverage brands,” said Dave Taiclet, General Partner and Managing Director, Lewis & Clark AgriFood. “As consumers continue to demand healthier foods produced with sustainable practices throughout the supply chain, processing and packaging will play a huge role in delivering on those brand promises.”
As a Certified B Corp, SinnovaTek’s mission is to promote worldwide health and wellness by fostering the delivery of high quality, healthy foods through sustainable methods. The company has several partnerships through which they are combatting hunger and malnourishment in developing regions.
“The investment from Lewis & Clark AgriFood has us well-positioned to grow along with our partners in the CPG space as they provide nutritious foods with longer shelf-lives,” said Michael Druga, Co-founder, President and CEO, SinnovaTek. “Drawing on the industry leadership and connections from the Lewis & Clark AgriFood team will be key drivers for this growth.”
Underpinning SinnovaTek’s capabilities is proprietary technology that improves quality and sustainability in shelf-stable foods. SinnovaTek’s scalable, regional, “quality-first” offerings positions them as a unique service partner increasing accessibility to high-quality processing for the food and beverage industry.
The SinnovaTek family of companies provides several pathways to service its customers' needs:
- SinnovaTek: Provides high-quality continuous flow microwave processing systems and pumps to food manufacturers along with the engineering and R&D support to make them successful.
- SinnoVita: Provides science-backed VITERO ingredient technologies to reduce food waste and increase nutrient delivery.
- FirstWave: Provides a platform for companies to launch and test new products in a high-quality aseptic format without the minimum order quantities that are normally required for a launch, enabling SinnovaTek to service customer production needs before they are ready to move to a larger scale.
As part of the investment, Tim Hassler, Managing Director of Lewis & Clark AgriFood, received a seat on the board, and Matt Plummer, Senior Associate of Lewis & Clark AgriFood, received a board observership.
“I am excited to work closely with SinnovaTek as it scales up its offerings, bringing its technology to new and emerging brands,” said Hassler. “As the food and beverage space undergoes a transformation, SinnovaTek can help these brands capitalize on new opportunities.”
SinnovaTek is a leading developer and integrator of advanced food processing equipment and technology through its family of companies including SinnoVita and FirstWave. As a certified B corporation, SinnovaTek’s mission is to promote worldwide health and wellness by fostering the delivery of high quality, healthy foods through sustainable methods. SinnovaTek is passionate about finding the best solution for its customers. Learn more at sinnovatek.com
About Lewis & Clark AgriFood
Lewis & Clark AgriFood is a St. Louis-based group of experienced investment professionals who are passionate about investing in companies at the forefront of food and agriculture innovation. We look for companies that deliver benefits to the stakeholders in the food and agriculture sector from the producer to the supply chain, all the way to the consumer. We invest in companies at the growth stage of their evolution, poised to scale their technology to a national or global scale. As founders, operators, investors and scientists, our seasoned investment team brings a breadth of quality sector experience to every investment. For more information, visit lewisandclarkagrifood.com
A new life cycle analysis report has highlighted the outstanding environmental credentials of cartonboard packaging when compared against fossil-based alternatives.
Published in June 2021, Cartonboard Life Cycle; Comparing the carbon footprint of carton packaging against alternative solutions, goes into the granular detail of the cradle-to-grave environmental performance of cartonboard in frozen food, ready meal, fast food and small electricals packaging, compared to other commonly-used packaging materials, such as multilaminate film bags, PP trays, PET trays and PVC blister packs.
The study, carried out by RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) Bioeconomy unit for Pro Carton, the European Association for Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers, and peer reviewed by Intertek, provides an insight into the relative carbon footprints for packaging in different consumer sectors, alongside detailed explanations of the factors driving those comparative results.
RISE’s cradle-to-grave comparison ensures that the entire lifecycle of packaging is taken into account – from how it is produced (or grown in the case of the wood used in cartonboard manufacture) to processing and disposal. The study reports both fossil green-house-gas (GHG) emissions and biogenic GHG emissions and removals.
Fossil GHG emissions arise from non-renewable sources such as fossil fuels, while Biogenic emissions arise from the combustion of biofuels and the degradation of bio-based products. Biogenic removals refer to CO2 uptake from the atmosphere through photosynthesis during biomass growth.
Pro Carton General Manager Tony Hitchin commented: “Whilst the unique aspects of the life-cycle of fibre-based packaging are taken into account when calculating the total carbon footprint we also wanted to see what the results would be when only the fossil green-house-gas (GHG) emissions were considered and the cartonboard solutions gave a favourable result.”
About Pro Carton
Pro Carton is the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers. Its main purpose is to promote the use of cartons and cartonboard as an economically and ecologically balanced packaging medium. www.procarton.com
Antalis are pleased to be launching the new and improved version of the Graphic self-adhesive range from UPM Raflatac, RAFNXT+, the world’s first label material to be verified by The Carbon Trust.
The importance of providing customers with sustainable and high-performance products continues to increase in today’s environmentally-aware society. RAFNXT+ helps to mitigate climate change, drawing from responsibly managed forests and decreasing carbon emissions.
RAFNXT+ is a new range from UPM Raflatac, a line of high quality, self-adhesive sheets. The lower grammage backing paper of RAFNXT+ (3gsm lighter) is FSC certified, allowing Antalis to classify the whole range as FSC Mixed Credit. The face paper in the new range remains the same as previous Raflatac Graphic products, so the high-quality printing performance is unaffected.
RAFNXT+ is the world’s first label material to be verified by The Carbon Trust, an achievement accomplished as a result of the product design’s smarter use and choice of natural resources, and the use of less raw materials, energy and water.
Ben Cahill, Product Manager at Antalis comments, “We are pleased to be the exclusive self-adhesive sheet distributor for UPM Raflatac in the UK, and their new RAFNXT+ range provides customers with a fully FSC certified product, which also has the advantage of being the world’s first label material to be verified by The Carbon Trust”.
Antalis is a member of the Kokusai Pulp & Paper Group, a worldwide leader in the distribution of Papers, Packaging and Visual Communication media, based in Japan.
In Europe and Latin America, Antalis is the leading B2B distributor of products and services in Papers and Industrial Packaging, and number two in the distribution of Visual Communication media, with global reported sales of €2.1 billion in 2019.
Headquarters are in Paris (France). Antalis operates in 31 countries serving over 110,000 customers with a team of 4,000 employees and breakthrough e-commerce solutions.
Our 103 distribution centres focus on eco-responsibility and provide a world-class service with over 11,000 daily deliveries.
To learn more, visit www.antalis.com
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