Italy’s Sitma packs masks using paper

Embracing the path of sustainability

Masks are manually fed and individually packed with paper

Italian packaging solutions provider Sitma Machinery has used its machinery and workforce to pack a supply of over 30,0000 masks for the municipalities of Castelvetro and Vignola, in the Modena area in northern Italy. Sitma is the first company to pack masks with paper, which was supplied by UPM Specialty Papers.

Little over a month ago, Sitma Machinery’s founder Aris Ballestrazzi died due to complications related to Covid-19. “This is a project with great symbolic value, of which I am sure Aris Ballestrazzi would have been particularly proud,” said Fabrizio Della Casa, general manager of Sitma.

“Sitma has for years embraced the path of sustainability, investing heavily in the creation of cutting-edge solutions with a low environmental impact,” Della Casa continued. “For example, we were among the first to develop packaging systems that used paper instead of plastic. It, therefore, seemed logical to apply this principle to the mask project. Products packaged individually with paper, such as our masks, can in fact be thrown away, together with the label, into the waste paper collection, making it easy and safe to dispose of them.”

The masks are manually fed and then automatically packed individually with paper. The package also bears a label, which is applied using machinery by Bizerba.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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