The latest edition of our Finalist Interview series for the Sustainability Awards comes courtesy of Syntegon , with its paper-ON-form retrofit kit for cold-sealable paper packaging on existing horizontal flow wrapping machines. We spoke to the company about this entry, nominated in the commercialised Machinery category.
You’re a finalist in the Sustainability Awards 2023. Congratulations! To start off, could you summarise your entry, in less than 50 words?
The paper-ON-form forming shoulder enables our customers to run paper material on our new and existing horizontal form-fill-and-seal wrappers, giving them the opportunity to switch from conventional plastic film to a more sustainable solution. Paper-ON-form provides the same appearance, pack style quality and the same speed for cold seal.
Why do you think the judges were impressed with your entry? Tell us about what is innovative about your project and/or about its impact on packaging sustainability.
We developed paper-ON-form in an interdisciplinary team and in close collaboration with our global customers and suppliers, supporting them on their journey to more sustainable materials with consulting, testing and implementation. As a global packaging machine supplier, we have a huge installed base and therefore a big impact by enabling them to switch to paper.
The solution is format flexible and handles the barrier papers (without damaging the barriers) at the same speed for cold seal, and conventional film also runs on paper-ON-form.
How has your innovation/initiative been received?
The product and the services around it have been received very well. We have already installed paper-ON-form as upgrade kits or on new machines for many customers worldwide.
You’re shortlisted for the Machinery category. What do you see as the key sustainability demands and challenges confronting the engineering for converting and packing?
The demand for more sustainable packaging material will continue. There is no one solution as product protection, shelf life and product characteristics vary. Besides paper-based solutions, mono materials also provide a good alternative for specific products.
Barrier papers are still under development and their barrier properties are being improved step-by-step for machinability and to achieve longer shelf life. We have developed paper-ON-form to guarantee best-in-class handling of paper, but if customers want to switch to paper there could be an impact on the downstream of a flow wrapper. Therefore, to change to paper means to look at the whole system and that’s where we try to support our customers best.
What do you think are the main opportunities in this area or what future innovations do you predict in this area?
The biggest opportunity globally is to replace conventional plastic film with a renewably sourced paper with optimal barriers which achieves the required shelf life and can be handled in the existing paper recycling stream. This will significantly reduce CO2 footprint. Paper suppliers and converters will further innovate thin barrier coatings with crack resistance and different barrier levels.
The winners of the Sustainability Awards 2023 will be announced at the Sustainable Packaging Summit, which takes place in Amsterdam on 14-15 November. The Summit mobilises leaders of the FMCG value chain, policymakers, NGOs, recyclers and investors to collaborate, remove barriers and identify opportunities on the road to sustainable transformation.
To learn more or register, visit https://www.packagingsummit.earth/amsterdam2023/.