Packaging and speciality paper manufacturer Sappi Europe has invested a double-digit million euro sum in a new plant to produce innovative high-barrier papers – including an all-new type of barrier coating machine. Recently put into operation at the company’s Alfeld site in Germany, the in-house solution will produce high-barrier papers for recyclable packaging for food and non-food applications.
Sappi draws on far-reaching expertise in paper-coating technology. For more than 10 years, the company has been producing a wide range of packaging papers that feature integrated barriers against oxygen, grease, water vapour, mineral oil and aromas, at the same time as providing excellent protection for packaged products.
At a time when the packaging industry faces steadily increasing demand – from consumers, the retail sector and legislators – to offer sustainable materials and processes, Sappi’s long-standing commitment to paper-based, recyclable flexible packaging solutions meets this megatrend for more sustainable packaging solutions.
Building on its leadership position in barrier papers, Sappi has now invested a double-digit million euro sum in an all-new type of barrier coating machine, recently put into operation at the company’s Alfeld site in Germany.
Marco Eikelenboom, CEO of Sappi Europe, explained how the Alfeld investment underscores Sappi’s strategy to establish itself as a market leader in flexible packaging: “We offer brand owners and converters fibre-based, recyclable packaging solutions that enable them to achieve their sustainability goals and contribute to the circular economy.”
Secure supply chains and customised solutions
In the future, Sappi’s customers will benefit from outstanding delivery capability thanks to higher production capacities and a shorter supply chain. The new coating machine is a world first and greatly increases the volume of the company’s specialised barrier papers available to the market. The investment includes a coating kitchen, reel finishing and automated handling system, ensuring scalable high volume of 300 million m2 output as well as opportunities for customised solutions and continuous coating innovation.
The future lies in renewable, recyclable solutions
Depending on requirements and applications, different coating technologies can be used on the new machine. Sappi uses a multilayer coating and water-based dispersion technology for the production of environmentally friendly packaging solutions, and especially in the production of high-barrier papers.
Sappi anticipates that in-house development of coating recipes in the dedicated coating kitchen will also feature on the machine in the future. In partnership with customers, this will bring to market further alternatives to non-recyclable packaging, from which both consumers and manufacturers can benefit.