Austria’s corrugated board industry records growth
Environmentally friendly packaging is in demand. The Austrian corrugated board industry sold more than 1 billion square meters of corrugated board in 2018 – a growth of 1.5 percent compared to the previous year.
More than two thirds of all goods manufactured in Austria are packaged in corrugated board. Corrugated board is light yet stable, versatile and 100 percent biodegradable,” says Max Hölbl, spokesman for Forum Wellpappe Austria. In many areas, fibre-based packaging can even be a “real alternative to other packaging materials and thus considerably improve the environmental balance”, says Hölbl.
Against the background of the discussion about recycling and the consumption of fossil raw materials, corrugated board offers tangible environmental advantages. The recycling economy demanded by politicians and the public is already a reality with corrugated board packaging. “A typical shipping carton of an online retailer is made of corrugated board and is used again after unpacking as a valuable raw material for the production of new corrugated board,” says Hölbl. No tree is felled for the production of corrugated board base paper, but broken and thinned wood is used, which accumulates during the care of sustainably managed, FSC-certified forests. Thanks to the functioning collection and recycling system in Austria, used packaging is completely collected and recycled, says Hölbl. “The recycling rate for used corrugated board is 98.8 percent. The paper fibres can be recycled up to 25 times into corrugated board.
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The members of Forum Wellpappe Austria sold more than 1 billion square metres of corrugated board in 2018. This is 25.1 million square meters more than in 2017 and corresponds to a growth of 1.5 percent. “The decisive factors for this development are solid growth among our customers, a sustained consumer mood and online retailing,” says Max Hölbl. The cost situation is still proving to be challenging: in 2017 and early 2018, price premiums of up to 25 percent on corrugated base paper caused enormous cost pressure. “Even though prices have eased slightly again, it has not yet been possible to compensate for all the increases,” says Hölbl.
Forum Wellpappe Austria is the mouthpiece of the Austrian corrugated board industry with its member companies DS Smith Packaging Austria GmbH, Dunapack Mosburger GmbH, Mondi Grünburg GmbH, Rondo Ganahl Aktiengesellschaft, Smurfit Kappa Interwell GmbH & Co. KG and Steirerpack GmbH.
The balance sheet of the German corrugated board industry can be found here.