Sappi claims to be the world’s first manufacturer to produce an innovative packaging paper with integrated barrier function and sealing properties. Since then, the product portfolio has grown steadily. However, Sappi is not only helping food manufacturers switch from plastic to paper packaging: The diverse applications range from makeup to fertilizers.
More and more companies are turning to paper. According to an online survey conducted by management consultants Simon, Kucher & Partners in March 2021, sustainable packaging is highly rated by almost three quarters of consumers surveyed. Sustainable packaging is currently the biggest trend in the packaging industry. Sappi is clearly taking a pioneering role in this important area. Almost ten years ago, the company was the world’s first manufacturer to launch an innovative packaging paper with integrated barrier function and sealing properties: Sappi Guard. The Sappi AvantGuard product range of high-barrier papers was also developed for high product security. Whether in offset, flexo or gravure printing, Sappi’s functional papers can also be used to achieve impressive printing results, the company emphasizes. “A key advantage of functional papers is that they are mainly made from renewable raw materials. They can be fed into the paper recycling loop, which works very well in many countries around the world and is generally very well accepted by consumers,” explains Sibylle Hajostek, Market Manager Packaging Solutions at Sappi Europe.
Sappi’s sustainable packaging solutions have been successfully used in the food industry for many years. The Guard and AvantGuard products, for example, are suitable as primary and secondary packaging for a wide range of food products. However, the potential of functional paper is far from exhausted, explain the Sappi experts. Especially in the cosmetics industry, the concept of sustainability is gaining more and more acceptance. Hajostek is well acquainted with packaging trends in the beauty industry: “More and more makeup manufacturers are producing vegan products and doing without animal testing. This makes it all the more important that not only the product itself, but also its packaging meets sustainable and ethical standards. With this in mind, more and more manufacturers are switching to paper-based solutions.” For example, refill pouches made of Sappi Guard Nature MS are now available for refillable plastic powder compacts that are purchased only once. Sause GmbH, for example, uses Sappi packaging for its liquid soaps in powder form. Sustainable Sappi containers are also used for cleaning agents from Klaeny.
Sappi Guard is also suitable as a replacement for plastic bandages for household or dish towels. Cleaning tabs for washing machines can also be purchased in paper packaging in the future. On the same shelf, customers often find paper washing sheets, which are added to the laundry in the drum instead of the washing powder. Sappi Seal Silk, a paper with integrated sealability and barrier against moisture and mineral oil, is suitable for both products.
No plastic in the garden
Amateur gardeners have already noticed the trend away from plastic and toward paper. Those who want to rid their plants of unwanted pests can order the larvae of certain beneficial insects on the Internet to do so. Aphids, for example, are high on the menu of ladybug larvae. The beneficial insects are delivered by mail in small paper bags, which can be made from Sappi Guard Nature MS, for example. When buying bouquets of flowers or potted plants, you also notice that the fertilizer you put in the water is more and more often packed in small paper bags. Sappi Seal Silk is very suitable for this purpose. For example, the Smither Oasis company uses Sappi packaging for its flower and plant food.
Functional papers – impressive multipurpose solutions
Almost anything can be packaged without plastic, says Hajostek. “The future belongs to fiber-based packaging with a barrier function. The possible applications for our functional papers are almost unlimited. There are still some gaps in the market, because currently not all manufacturers can imagine packaging their products in paper. However, with its plastic-free packaging solutions, Sappi can and will close these gaps in a very efficient way,” says Hajostek.