Posts Tagged ‘packaging’

  • Packagers defend plastic packaging

    Bans on plastic packaging would threaten food safety, sterile packaging and health regulations, according to industry group Packaging New Zealand (PNZ), whose members include global giants Visy, Orora, Unilever and Amcor Flexibles.

    PNZ said it understands the reasons for the recent bans on single-use plastic bags but would be “alarmed” if this was extended to plastic packaging.

    ‘A step too far’: Sharon Humphries, executive director, Packaging NZ.

    “Plastic packaging is used because it is effective, efficient and economic,” said Sharon Humphreys, executive director of PNZ. “Any suggestion to extend plastic bans into the packaging space starts to impact areas such as food safety, sterile packaging, logistical efficiencies affecting carbon emissions, health and safety regulations, to name a few. This would be a step too far.

    “Advocates of banning plastic will always find examples of potential misuse, but those charged with policy development need to offer a balanced perspective, which is mindful of society’s requirements, not simply appeasement of the vocal minority.

    “Let us be clear, we too are horrified by the devastating effect on the natural environment of plastic pollution. Fewer bags in circulation will inevitably mean a reduction of bags in the natural, environment. This would be a good outcome, but it must be acknowledged that banning bags demonises the product – single-use plastic bags – but excuses the conduct of those who litter.”

    ‘The tip of the iceberg’: Rachel Brown, CEO Sustainable Business Network.

    According to New Zealand’s Sustainable Business Network, the ban of plastic bags in “just the tip of the iceberg.”

    “The environmental impact of plastic packaging, particularly single-use plastic bags, is now well-known,” said CEO Rachel Brown. “But what many people don’t realise is that there’s a massive economic cost involved too because of resource wastage. The cost of packaging waste sits at around $80 billion globally and is rising as the costs of clean up are added. So, the phasing out of single-use plastic bags is not only good for the environment, it’s good for the economy.

    “Plastic bags are just the tip of the iceberg. That’s why we’re working with ten leading businesses to better understand New Zealand’s entire plastic packaging system. We need to radically change how we design, use and re-use plastics.”

    Brooke Donnelly, CEO of the Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) – which represents 950 member companies – said the future of plastic in the waste debate needs to be considered holistically rather than simply advocating for blanket bans.

    “The conversation needs to be much broader,” Donnelly said. “It is not about whether it’s good or bad, but that it hasn’t been managed effectively at end of life. This is where we need to concentrate our efforts going forward.

    “There are a number of international initiatives to improve the recyclability of soft plastics, including new design guidelines that are expected to be released later in the year.

    “In addition, new technologies are driving change such as a new process for complex multilayer plastics that include chemical recycling (processing back into the basic building blocks for plastics) and these developments will continue to eliminate plastic from landfill and reduce the impact on the environment.”

    In April, Australia’s federal, state and territory environment ministers committed to an APCO initiative to eliminate all packaging going to landfill by 2025.

  • Big brands target packaging waste

    When big brands start taking action, you know it’s serious. IKEA and Starbucks recently announced their intentions to do away with plastic straws and this could mark the start of some altogether bolder initiatives. Both companies want to be seen to be doing something about the plastics pollution problem.

    ‘The straws are only the start’: Sustainability consultant Laurel Brunner, MD Digital Dots.

    Starbucks’ goal is to replace one billion plastic straws with compostable alternatives by 2020. The company has 28,000 outlets around the world and plans to introduce straws made from paper and compostable materials to replace the plastic ones. It is also developing a recyclable lid as part of a $10 million investment that includes development of a sustainable cup. Starbucks has also experimented with charging a premium for its cups, either to pay for the recycling or because it can get away with it amongst its hipster customers who want to feel better about using single-use materials. A trial has been running in London for a few months and is expected to be rolled out to another 950 locations.

    Starbucks’ new straws will be available in the US first and then Europe starting with France, the Netherlands and the UK. For printers, this may not mean much, but it is unlikely that Starbucks’ interest in sustainability improvements will be limited to straws. Producers of packaging and other forms of print should be ready to demonstrate their sustainability, in order to support Starbucks’ growing range of environmental objectives.

    IKEA has an altogether more ambitious set of goals but is treading a similar route to Starbucks. IKEA has announced that its stores in the UK and Ireland will stop providing single use plastic straws. The company expects all stores to follow suit by 2020. Companies providing print services to IKEA should be aware that, as with Starbucks, there is more to this than just dumping plastic straws.

    IKEA’s incredibly ambitious People and Planet Positive initiative incorporates all aspects of IKEA’s business, including its suppliers and customers. The goal is “to transform the IKEA business, the industries in the IKEA value chain and life at home for people all across the world” by balancing environmental protection with economic growth through a new business plan. The company is taking a leadership position with customers and suppliers, using its bulk to really push for change.

    IKEA’s goals are in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, so this isn’t just about print and packaging, but about helping get people out of poverty and living decent lives. Unfortunately, in all the lofty rhetoric, there isn’t much about managing packaging so that less of it’s wasted, or improving its carbon footprint. Is this another example of the invisibility of print, or of something that brands overlook because it’s too difficult to fix? Maybe it’s up to graphics industry professionals to take a stronger position on this, particularly large manufacturers. They should be reaching out to major brands to co-create solutions to the packaging waste problem. The straws are only the start.

    – Laurel Brunner

    This article was produced by the Verdigris Project, an industry initiative intended to raise awareness of print’s positive environmental impact. This weekly commentary helps printing companies keep up to date with environmental standards, and how environmentally friendly business management can help improve their bottom lines. Verdigris is supported by the following companies: Agfa Graphics, EFI, Fespa, HP, Kodak, Kornit, Ricoh, Spindrift, Splash PR, Unity Publishing and Xeikon.


  • Label printers move into packaging

    Next month’s inaugural Print21 + PKN LIVE: New Frontiers in Packaging Print will examine how increasing numbers of label printers are finding gaps in the packaging market.

    In a session focused on printers who were early adopters of digital printing, starting with labels – and who are now exploring growth opportunities in packaging, we’ll hear from companies like Kirwan Print Group, Soar Print and Excel Print.

    ‘Primed to move into the packaging sector’: Steve Matthews, CEO Excel Print.

    Guest panellist Excel Print CEO Steve Matthews will share his company’s journey from its establishment as a digital cut sheet printer in New Zealand in 1987.

    “We are NZ’s largest digital print provider and four years ago we diversified into the label industry,” says Matthews. “Recently, we’ve invested in equipment that has enabled us to start out our journey in the flexible packaging market.

    “We are experts in fit-for-purpose, cost effective label print solutions using state-of-the-art digital technologies We have a strong label and shrink sleeve operation and are now primed to move into the packaging sector. We currently supply trade partners with print as we are yet to have our own in-house finishing for flexible pouches.”

    LIVE’s Game-Changing Technology in Packaging Printing session will also feature Fred Soar, MD of Auckland-based Soar Print, who will discuss opportunities in the food and beverage industry, where artisan brands are proliferating, giving rise to a demand for short print runs of multiple SKUs.

     Other panellists and speakers at Print21 + PKN LIVE: New Frontiers in Packaging Print will include: IVE Group executive chairman Geoff Selig; Orora Fibre group general manager Brian Lowe; Kellie Northwood, CEO ACA / Executive Director TSA Limited and APIA; PIAA CEO Andrew Macaulay; Marty Stone – Australia Post’s head of category – simplifying business, small business; Currie Group director, labels and packaging, Mark Daws; Matthews Intelligent Identification CEO Mark Dingley; Gwen Blake, managing director of packaging design company Boxer & Co; Amber Bonney, creative director of The Edison Agency; Ian Douglas, solutions architect and director of Spawnit; tech entrepreneur Bill Atta; and Birdstone Collective director Ian Blair.

    Tickets are on sale here. 

    Find program details here.

    When: Friday 3rd August, 2018

    Time: 9am to 4pm

    Where: Monkey Baa Theatre, Darling Harbour, Sydney 

    Click here to view map

  • Outside the brown box – Print21 Magazine

    Posters printed on the EFI Nozomi C18000 digital corrugated packaging press.

    We’re used to corrugated boxes being utilitarian beasts: brown cardboard, printed on flexo in one or two colours. With digital print making inroads into the packaging sector, however, the days of boring boxes may be behind us.

    In the latest issue of Print21 magazine, Jake Nelson takes a deep dive into digital print for corrugated packaging and what the future might hold.

  • Workflow and inkjet star in latest ‘Xtraordinary’ Print21 magazine

    The latest issue of Print21 magazine is out now, featuring Fujifilm’s Onset X-series of flatbed inkjet presses, a deep dive into workflow, a profile of IVE boss Geoff Selig, and more.

    Print21 has hit the ground running at Yaffa Media with an issue packed full of news and features you can’t afford to miss. On the cover, Fujifilm’s powerhouse Onset X3 inkjet press wowed audiences at an open house for its customer Active Display Group with its lightning speed and stunning resolution. “We found print speed at high quality will ultimately enable us to become even more competitive in a challenging market,” said Stuart Gittus, general manager of operations at ADG.

    In a nine-page workflow special, Patrick Howard examines the new PDF 2.0 and XJDF standards, and asks what they mean for printers; the feature also looks at offerings from PrintIQ, Kodak, Ricoh, Esko, EFI, and Tharstern to help automate and streamline your workflow and prepress procedures.

    Carrying on the connectivity theme, Andy McCourt plugs in to how the industry is connecting to the world, socially, culturally and economically. “We are in effect primitives in a new culture,” he writes, and urges printers to seize the opportunities modernity has to offer.

    For this issue’s People in Print profile, Geoff Selig, executive chairman of IVE Group, one of Australia’s largest printers, shares his outline for improving the working lives of IVE employees. “It’s about having an open view and awareness around elements of inclusion,” he said.

    German press giant Heidelberg is taking the hard work out of operators’ hands, gradually moving towards a “push-to-stop” system where manual intervention only happens when it’s absolutely needed, as MD Richard Timson told Patrick Howard. “Most of our presses are completely under-utilised because there’s too much fog in between the processes. You don’t need to run a press seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. If you streamline some of these processes in this way you might be able to run a single shift and make as much money,” said Timson.

    In the packaging world, digital printing is making its mark on labels with a surge in press purchases across inkjet, toner and Indigo. That’s not the only area digital is reshaping, though – the humble corrugated box is receiving a makeover thanks to massive inkjet presses from companies such as EFI and HP. Jake Nelson delves into how the digital world is impacting both sectors, one job at a time.

    All that plus installations, profiles, and important news from the coalface makes this issue of Print21 magazine your vital long-weekend read. Check it out today!

    To subscribe to our print edition, go here or email

  • KBA purchase backs packaging printing push

    KBA (Koenig & Bauer) is backing its packaging printing push with the proposed acquisition of German packaging printing equipment manufacturer, Kammann Machines.

    The deal, which sees the world’s second largest offset press manufacturer take an 85 per cent stake in Kammann, follows hot on the heels of KBA’s planned takeover of Italian press manufacturer, Flexotecnica, in February.

    Kammann Machines, based in Bad Oeynhausen, Germany, claims it is the world’s largest supplier of graphic screen equipment and had provided offset print and converting solutions for over 50 years. Its packaging print products are primarily used for hollow articles such as bottles, optical discs and web materials.

    The company also has a substantial service business. In systems for directly decorating glass containers, Kammann is the global market leader. The firm, which has almost no own production facilities, was founded in 1955 and has a total of 175 employees. In 2012 it generated annual sales of over €30m (A$43.3m) and posted a net profit.

    The acquisition, which is still subject to some conditions, sees Kammann’s two managing directors continue to hold a 15 per cent stake in the company, while KBA is set to claim the 85 per cent that has, until now, been held by private equity firm, Perusa, in Munich.

    According to KBA, the move to take on packaging printing companies such as Kammann with the aim of expanding its footing in the sector is a bid to counteract the shrinking sales volume of web presses for publications heavily affected by the advance of online media.

    Although KBA is ranked as the second-largest offset press manufacturer in the world after arch rival, Heidelberg, the company comes first in the packaging sector – which Heidelberg is now also working to push into further as it continues its strategy to return to profit.

    Now, with KBA announcing its second packaging print equipment manufacturer acquisition so far this year, it is clear the company is working to maintain its lead in the packaging landscape.

    It is not clear at this stage whether KBA’s impending majority stake in Kammann, which is currently distributed locally by Melbourne’s Plastequipment International, will result in distribution in Australia and New Zealand being taken on by KBA Australia.