Packaging paper manufacturer Sappi Europe and packaging machine manufacturer Kallfass have signed a collaboration agreement. As part of the partnership, the two companies are consolidating their expertise to develop a sustainable, paper-based alternative to film-based primary secondary packaging in the non-food packaging sector.
Overall consumer demand for sustainable packaging remains high, as clearly indicated in the 2022 Global Buying Green Report initiated by Trivium Packaging, based on a survey among more than 15,000 consumers across Europe, North America and South America. As the esteemed report outlines, brands are in fact risking losing market share if they cannot meet consumer demand for sustainable packaging. This reiterates the importance of increasing packaging recyclability in view of protecting natural resources. All the more reason for packaging paper manufacturer Sappi and packaging machine manufacturer Kallfass to join forces within the framework of a partnership in the non-food sector signed in 2021.
Knowledge and expertise transfer: from film to paper-based product
Kallfass, based in Nürtingen, Germany, has been offering a comprehensive machine portfolio for packaging with film for more than 50 years. Over the past decades, the company, with its high level of system solution expertise, has played a key role in shaping the technological evolution of packaging machines and shrink tunnels. Today, Kallfass offers state-of-the-art packaging systems for primary and secondary packaging for a wide range of product areas. Kallfass packaging machines, however, not only process films made from fossil or recycled materials, but also a wide variety of paper-based packaging materials. “Our goal is perfect, sustainable packaging made of paper that can be disposed of directly via the wastepaper stream and returned to the cycle,” explains Jens Kallfass, Managing Director of Kallfass Verpackungsmaschinen GmbH. “To offer our customers an alternative to film packaging, we are working with speciality paper manufacturer Sappi on the paper packaging of the future.” A thorough needs analysis in terms of product requirements for the packaging as well as detailed material tests revealed that a change to paper-based solutions can be implemented effectively and reliably – while guaranteeing a smooth packaging process later on.
A paper-based packaging solution for the non-food sector
The production of sustainable packaging, however, requires not only optimal processes, but also an ideal material. Sappi has extensive experience and long-established expertise especially in the field of secure functional paper packaging. In fact, Sappi was the first manufacturer ever to launch an innovative packaging paper with integrated sealing functionality. This innovative sustainable packaging solution generated a great deal of interest in the market and has continued to evolve over time.
When enquiries from brand manufacturers for paper-based packaging solutions in the non-food sector started multiplying at Kallfass, Sappi was the ideal partner to fulfil customer requirements with its complementary expertise. Since then, Kallfass has been working with Sappi’s extensive portfolio to offer its customers highly effective paper-based solutions instead of film. For example, the Sappi Seal product family with its unique sealing properties was used to reliably wrap mattresses in durable, recyclable material.
Sappi Crystalcon with Sappi Seal Silk: new sustainable solutions for potential markets
Of course, Sappi and Kallfass are not only striving to meet current customer needs, they are also focussing on identifying future needs and providing future-proof solutions. For instance, there is a noticeable increase in current demand for sustainable solutions targeted to the e-commerce market – one of today’s fastest growing sectors, and not only since the pandemic. As a highly respected study conducted by the Sendcloud shipping platform (E-Commerce Delivery Compass 2021/2022) indicated that close to 78 per cent of European consumers surveyed believe that packaging material should be fully recyclable. This development has also been noted by online retailers who recognise a need for optimisation.
To meet the needs of brand owners, e-commerce vendors and consumers alike, the two globally active companies have pooled their expertise, carried out extensive testing and finally identified Sappi’s Crystalcon as a promising alternative to film for primary packaging.
Crystalcon, an uncoated, translucent, compostable paper grade recently developed by Sappi, in combination with the heat-sealable Sappi Seal Silk, offers a sustainable, recyclable and easy-to-implement packaging solution – for both food and non-food applications – from Sappi’s innovative Functional Paper Packaging segment. Seal papers can also be recycled via normal paper disposal and feature excellent heat-sealing properties. By means of this sealing layer, the new Crystalcon translucent paper can be easily sealed onto Sappi Seal – eliminating the need for additional paper processing or finishing.
When brand owners take advantage of the exceptionally easy printability of this primary packaging material, consumers benefit from the material’s sustainability as well as its pleasant texture. Furthermore, thanks to Crystalcon’s translucence, this type of packaging offers sufficient transparency to identify the product within. It represents a real alternative for packaging goods from virtually all product segments – from small electronic devices to clothes. It also significantly contributes to establishing paper as primary packaging material in the market and to making environmentally friendly, sustainable packaging a viable and promising solution for the future.