Chocolate pack from Sappi, Screen and Mercian

A recyclable barrier paper packaging solution

93
Sappi
Screen, Sappi and Mercian labels have worked together to develop a recycle paper packaging solution for Whitakers chocolates.

The British converter Mercian Labels has worked with Screen and the paper packaging supplier Sappi to develop a recyclable barrier paper packaging solution for the UK-based chocolate makers Whitakers.

Most paper-based flexible packaging still requires the use of a polymer laminate to give the material the necessary barrier properties, typically to limit oxygen inhibition that would spoil the food product. But this barrier laminate makes those materials almost impossible to recycle.

So Whitakers aimed to update its packaging to make it more environmentally friendly with fully recyclable paper packaging. Whitakers previously used a metallized BOPP film so it was important that the new solution should offer the same minimum 12-month shelf-life.

Sappi supplied an uncoated 67gsm paper that it had flood coated on the reverse with a water-based polymer dispersion. This dispersion, which used a proprietary Sappi formulation, gave it the required barrier properties while allowing the paper to be recycled through the existing recycling stream for household paper and cardboard.

Sibylle Hajostek, market manager Paper & Packaging Solutions at Sappi, adds, “Sappi has been a pioneer in manufacturing flexible packaging papers and recognises the vast potential in the market for sustainable and recyclable packaging material. Selecting the right paper for the right product application is crucial and our expertise in barrier coating allows us to provide the right barrier properties for product protection. The UK market, in particular, has shown a significant demand for more sustainable packaging solutions, and we are excited to contribute to meeting these demands.”

Mercian Labels then worked with Screen to develop a method to print onto this substrate from Sappi. Mercian was already using a Screen L350UV label press but wanted to diversify into the flexible packaging market. Since water-based inks are essential to that market, for working with food products as well as making recycling easier, the company turned to Screen’s long-awaited Truepress Pac520P inkjet press. I’ve already covered this press, which was first announced nearly two years ago. Essentially, Screen has reworked its twin-engined 520NX transactional printer to create a single-engined press for paper-based packaging.

Dr Adrian Steele, managing director of Mercian Labels, explains, “The move into paper flexible packaging is a natural evolution for us. Digital printing with eco-friendly inks brings flexibility to packaging design by abolishing MOQs and significantly reducing lead times. It allows for customisation, reduced waste from obsolescence, and, most importantly, aligns with Whitakers’ commitment to sustainability. We have long seen the versatility and environmental benefits of digital printing in labels, so paper based flexible packaging is an exciting market for us to explore.”

Screen has had the prototype of its Pac520P press at its European headquarters in the Netherlands for a year or so now, and has been testing the various materials available. So Screen tested the Sappi paper complete with its barrier coating and created a profile to enable it to print the Whitakers job on this substrate. The job itself was printed with Mercian at Screen’s Amsterdam centre without needing for any primer or overprint lacquer.

Juan Cano, Business Development director for Screen Europe, commented, “Our partnership with Sappi and Mercian Labels represents a significant leap towards sustainable packaging. Screen’s Truepress Pac520P inkjet digital printing press using water-based food compliant inks, stands out for its lower environmental impact, reduced waste, and quick job turnaround times. This agility enables rapid ramp up of volumes in the early stages of market development, offering a compelling solution for converters and brand owners alike.”

Screen is still working on the Pac520P, with the first beta unit due to be shipped from Japan to Europe in April. Screen has apparently not yet decided who the first beta customer will be as it is still in discussion with a number of potential users, including Mercian Labels.

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that McKinsey’s Sustainability in Packaging 2023 survey found that 63 percent of British consumers perceive paper packaging as a more sustainable and eco-friendly option. Whitakers is also polling its customers to better understand their preferences for the packaging materials it uses for its chocolates.

You can find more information about all of these companies from mercianlabels.com, sappi.com, screeneurope.com and whitakerschocolates.com.

First published by the Printing and Manufacturing Journal on 12th February 2024. Reprinted by permission www.nessancleary.co.uk

Packaging South Asia — resilient, growing and impactful — daily, monthly — always responsive

The multi-channel B2B in print and digital 17-year-old platform matches the industry’s growth trajectory. The Indian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Middle East packaging industries are looking beyond the resilience of the past three years. They are resuming capacity expansion and diversification, with high technology and automation in new plants and projects.

As we present our 2024 publishing plan, India’s real GDP growth for the financial year ending 31 March 2024 will exceed 6%. The packaging industry growth will match the GDP growth in volume terms and surpass it by at least 3% in terms of nominal growth allowing for price inflation in energy, raw materials, consumables, and capital equipment.

The capacity for flexible film manufacturing in India increased by 45% over the past four years. With orders in place, we expect another 20% capacity addition in 2024 and 2025. Capacities in monocartons, corrugation, aseptic liquid packaging, and labels are growing similarly. As the consumption story returns over the next six months, we expect demand to return and exceed the growth trajectory of previous years. The numbers are positive for most of the economies in the region – and as shown by our analytics, our platform increasingly reaches and influences these.

For responsible and sustainable packaging, with its attendant regulations and compliances, there is significant headroom to grow in India and the region. Our coverage includes the entire packaging supply chain – from concept to shelf and to waste collection, sorting, and recycling.

We target brand owners, product managers, raw material suppliers, packaging designers and converters, and recyclers. This is a large and complex canvas – the only thing that can work is your agile thinking and innovation together with our continuous learning and persistence.

The coming year looks to be an up year in this region, and this is the right time to plan your participation and marketing communication – in our rich and highly targeted business platform with human resources on the ground. Share your thoughts and plans to inspire and mobilize our editorial and advertising teams!

For editorial info@ippgroup.in — for advertisement ads1@ippgroup.in and for subscriptions subscription@ippgroup.in

– Naresh Khanna (25 October 2023)

Subscribe Now
unnamed 1

NEWSLETTER

Subscribe to our Newsletter

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here