New fiber-based ready meal trays from Huhtamaki to replace black plastic

Waitrose & Partners launches its Italian ready meal range in the new fiber-based tray suited for both microwave and regular ovens. The new trays, called Fresh, are manufactured by the global food packaging specialist Huhtamaki, packed at Saladworks and the fiber used as the base material comes from the Swedish forest company Södra. The trays can be recycled, and they are also certified for home composting. The hopes are high when a high-end retailer, a premium food manufacturer, an innovative fiber material producer and a food packaging specialist join forces in an accelerated development project. The aim was nothing less than to find a plastic-replacing, sustainable solution for ready meal trays used in significant quantities every day. Tangible results of this co-operation are hitting the market in the UK with growing volumes just now. Waitrose & Partners launches its Italian ready meal range in the new fiber-based tray suited for both microwave and regular ovens. The new trays, called Fresh, are manufactured by the global food packaging specialist Huhtamaki, packed at Saladworks and the fiber used as the base material comes from the Swedish forest company Södra. The trays can be recycled, and they are also certified for home composting. Click "read more" below for additional information.
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DS Smith Sets Its Sights on Removable Plastic

DS Smith has released new research which finds that 1.5 million tonnes of plastic could be replaced each year from just five areas within supermarkets across Europe[1]. Its report, ‘Transforming the Supermarket Aisle’, was developed in conjunction with White Space, the leading growth strategy consultancy. It identifies plastic packaging, such as fresh produce punnets and shrink wrap, which supermarkets can replace with alternative, renewable materials. The five categories identified account for over 70 billion individual units of plastic (over 1.5 million tonnes) per year and are highlighted as targets for reduction and replacement by the packaging company. Miles Roberts, CEO of DS Smith commented: It is clear that we all have a big job to do, but we can already see through our research some of the potential answers. Our research demonstrates that simple changes in the materials used could make a big difference for retailers, thereby reducing plastic use by millions of tonnes over the next decade. While there is no silver bullet, we know that sustainable fibre-based packaging has a huge role to play, appealing to our customers and consumers alike. Click "read more" below for additional information.
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DS Smith Announces Global Partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation

DS Smith has signed an agreement to become a Global Partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The partnership will accelerate the company’s circular economy drive and support innovation across the business, including recycling and carbon-efficiency in e-commerce.Collaboration between DS Smith and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation will also strengthen the company’s Sustainability strategy. This programme is underpinned by nine long-term sustainability targets, which include manufacturing 100 per cent reusable or recyclable packaging by 2025. The partnership will support innovation in DS Smith’s business model, to include projects on packaging design for a circular economy; and improving collection systems in urban areas. These pilots will build on the company’s recent efforts on recycling throw-away consumable items such as coffee cups and radically reducing the amount of fibre in its cardboard packaging. Click "read more" below for additional information.
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Strong interest from customers in packaging solutions from Heidelberg at the Packaging Days

In the middle of May, Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) hosted its Packaging Days at the Wiesloch-Walldorf site with the theme “Together on Track to Success”. Over 350 participants from all over the world visited the Print Media Center Packaging on two days, where they demonstrated strong interested in Heidelberg’s integrated solutions and got comprehensive answers to the growing needs in the industry. Run lengths are declining, the number of individual jobs is increasing, raw materials are going up in price, and margins continue to be under pressure. Heidelberg offers its customers a wide product portfolio for this, with standardized processes and largely automated workflows. “We are continuously enhancing the Smart Print Shop, and offer our customers assistance with the digital transformation,” explained Stephan Plenz, Member of the Management Board responsible for Digital Technology, during his welcome address. “On this journey, we want to give our customers lots of different ideas of how they can make their business model even more profitable.” For example, the “Smart Packaging Production” agenda item showed how productivity and profitability can be significantly increased in an integrated overall solution. Networked with the Prinect Production Manager, the Speedmaster XL 106 six-color press with coating unit and logistics, the new Powermatrix 106 CSB die cutter, and the Diana X 115 folder gluer ran at full speed. The Powermatrix 106 CSB is the new high-performance die cutter from MK Masterwork. It produces 8,000 sheets per hour and has many features expected by packaging printers, such as an elevated pile handling system and the optical MasterSet sheet register system as standard equipment. Its performance capability in a 24/7 environment will make the new Powermatrix 106 CSB an economical option for industrial packaging printers looking for an efficient die cutter. Click "read more" below for additional information.
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Valmet agrees on a major pulp and board technology delivery to Klabin in Brazil

Valmet has signed contracts for a large pulp and paper technology delivery to Klabin S.A. in Brazil. The order consist of a kraftliner machine (PM27), a new fiberline, a new continuous cooking and a pulp dryer rebuild. The order is included in Valmet's second quarter 2019 orders received and the value of the order is around EUR 260-290 million. Furthermore, Valmet and Klabin have signed Letters of Intent (LOI) for the delivery of a second kraftliner machine (PM28) and a second cooking and fiberline for which the final agreements are expected to be signed and delivery schedule to commence in May 2021. The now agreed order for the delivery of a kraftliner production line is Valmet's first large board making technology delivery to Brazil and means an important breakthrough to the Brazilian paper industry market for Valmet. Click "read more" below for additional information.
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Sonoco Contributing $200 Million to U.S. Defined Pension Plans

According to Julie Albrecht, Sonoco’s Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, the voluntary contributions are projected to increase the funded status of the Company’s U.S. Defined Benefit Plans to approximately 100 percent. Sonoco previously closed its U.S. defined retirement plans at the end of 2003 and ceased additional benefit accruals at year-end 2018 involving all employees in the final average pay pension formula within these pension plans. “This is another significant step in our actions to de-risk our U.S. pension plans. By making the voluntary contributions, along with the Plan’s Investment Council action to increase the allocation of pension assets to fixed-income investments, we are taking advantage of our strong financial position to limit the impact of future market volatility to our free cash flow. This activity further supports Sonoco’s strategic initiatives of profitable growth and simplification,” said Albrecht. “These actions will not reduce any retirement benefits provided to the approximately 12,000 participants of Sonoco’s U.S. defined benefit pension plans.” Click "read more" below for additional information.
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American Forest & Paper Association Releases April 2019 Containerboard Monthly Report

The report featured revised data based on findings from the 59th Annual Capacity Survey released May 15. Containerboard production in April 2019 decreased 5.3 percent compared to April 2018 and was down 4.1 percent year-to-date. The average daily production compared to March 2019 was 3.1 percent higher. The containerboard operating rate bounced back above 90 percent due to the high rate for medium (96.5 percent), while the liner operating rate was at 89.6 percent. In spite of the bounce back, the April operating rate was 6.2 points lower than the same month last year, and the year-to-date operating rate was down 5.8 points compared to last year. Production for export, most of which is liner, was down nearly 20 percent year-over-year and was also down 20.5 percent year-to-date.
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American Forest & Paper Association Releases April 2019 Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging Monthly Report

The report featured revised data based on findings from the 59th Annual Capacity Survey released May 15. Total packaging papers shipments were down 3.7 percent from April 2018 and down 1.4 percent year-to-date. Bag & sack shipments were down 1.1 percent year-to-date, multiwall shipments were down 3.6 percent, food wrapping shipments were up 0.5 percent, and converting shipments were down 1.4 percent. The operating rate for April decreased to 88.5 percent compared to 90.0 percent in March. Inventory levels increased 1.7 percent from March.
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Rapak® Introduces the Autokap™ 600 Bag-in-Box Filling Machine with Explosion Proof Feature for Wine and Alcohol Spirits

Rapak North America, part of DS Smith Plastics, expands its well-known and reliable Autokap 600 series filling machine offering by creating a Bag-in-Box filler specially designed to safely handle the filling of alcohol spirits. When packaging wine or alcohol, vapors could escape during the filling process and may create a fire or explosive hazard in the surrounding area. The Autokap 600 has been designed with electrical components and pneumatic systems housed in air-pressurized cabinets, ensuring that any released vapors will not come in contact with electrical devices. The machine is also equipped with NAMUR sensors that run at a lower voltage which is below the threshold of sparking. These features can achieve a C1D1 (Class 1, Division 1) rating. Click "read more" below for additional information.
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