Sustainability is both a challenge and an opportunity for tissue converters. The industry on the whole has long grappled with the environmental sensitivities surrounding tissue production in terms of fiber sourcing and excessive water and electricity consumption.
Finding innovative ways to overcome the barriers to sustainable tissue production may put product quality at risk. It’s a conundrum for tissue converters made only more complicated by increased consumer demand for top quality, eco-friendly products in sustainable packaging.
Sustainability trends present complex and evolving issues. It requires solutions that address current needs with technologies that also reach into the future. To that end, Valmet offers Bio Pack and Aquabond — two technologies that make tissue converting and packaging more sustainable, and help tissue converters further differentiate their products.
Euromonitor International reports increasing the recyclability of hard-to-recycle packaging remains a key sustainability initiative. Consumers are increasingly putting their purchase power behind products with packaging created from reclaimed materials. Retailers, too, are less tolerant of products packaged using virgin plastics.
Bioplastics and biodegradable plastics are partial solutions, but scarcity of the materials worldwide and the expense prohibits them being fully embraced. Extensive research and development led Valmet and partnering companies to certain FSC-certified 100% biodegradable virgin papers and recycled papers as a solution.
Ultimately, two types of paper were developed: 100% compostable BIO paper with Vinicotte OK compost certification, and 100% recyclable and biodegradable paper. These packaging materials guarantee total sustainability when run on Valmet equipment using the Bio Pack Technical Improvement Program (TIP).
The Bio Pack TIP kit allows for the seamless transition from poly to paper packaging through a simple operator panel command which ensures consistent efficiency, quality, and performance.
Since it works with all current machine formats, settings, and any type of paper including reels combined with bioplastic material, BioPack is the go-to for streamlining tissue converting and packaging operations.
Four adhesives are used in the tissue or toweling converting process, all of which are costly and operationally inefficient.
Moreover, the adhesives are environmentally detrimental. Even the natural and semi-synthetic options available in response to sustainability demands are inadequate. They are proving poorly degradable as solid waste, a threat to wastewater treatment, and excessively oxygen-dependent during organic breakdown.
Instead of accepting the inevitability of having to use adhesives, Valmet set out to find an eco-friendly solution. Aquabond sustainable water technology replaces adhesive with water during ply bonding — without requiring new machinery or compromising product quality.
As innovative today as it was when introduced more than a decade ago, Aquabond is a solution that provides all-around benefits for final consumers and manufacturers.
César Moskewen, Industrial Manager of Damapel, based in Brazil, had a positive experience with Aquabond after the constant search for innovations and obtaining an increasingly sustainable product, especially motivated by the development of Fancy Planet - their toilet paper that is 100% ecological and biodegradable.
The company found in Aquabond the solution they were looking for, thinking about the improvement of the final product through the elimination of glue in the lamination process, providing a softer touch in the paper's embossing. Besides the increase in quality, they were also looking for cost reduction, greater efficiency in the process and fewer production stops to clean the blades.
Algeria-based Faderco found Aquabond to be the key to differentiating itself on the shelf. By removing adhesives created from vinyl and nonrenewable raw materials in favor of water-based lamination, the company made major strides toward eco-sustainable products. In addition, Aquabond technology positively impacted line efficiency by eliminating the problems of adhesion and winding paper on steel rollers, and continuous stops to the entire line to carry out cleaning and roller lubrication.
Packaging and product sustainability is spurring innovation throughout the tissue industry. Trends point to even more emphasis placed on these initiatives in the future, not the least of which is due to the impact of sustainability on product differentiation. How you respond could well influence your place in the market. Contact Valmet to learn more about Bio Pack, Aquabond, and our other sustainability-focused solutions.