Fifty years ago, plastic was hailed as the miracle material that would change packaging forever. Today, we are more aware than ever of how plastic – for all its advantages – poses a threat to our environment and well being. Kotkamills offers more responsible alternatives to disposables that contain plastic.
In the UK alone, 99.75% of single use cups end up in landfills, that is more than 2.5 billion cups per year. Half a trillion disposable cups are manufactured globally each year. The vast majority of these cups contain polyethylene plastic making recycling difficult and composting virtually impossible.
Kotkamills is tackling the global cup challenge head on with barrier boards and packaging solutions. Unlike PE and PLA coated board manufacturers, Kotkamills uses an innovative water based dispersion coating to create an effective barrier layer for demanding food and beverage packaging. For instance, disposable cups made from Kotkamills’ Isla Duo cupstock with dispersion coating are plastic free and fully recyclable, with no need for a separate collection system or complicated sorting of paper waste. Packaging manufacturers can also run Isla barrier board on existing cup forming machines, thereby eliminating the need to invest in new equipment.
‘Single use plastic products will increasingly be replaced and for good reason. People deserve options that can be effectively recycled and that they can feel good about using. Governments, companies and consumers are taking action to make the world less dependent of plastic, so we have to rethink the role of packaging in our society. We can start to change the game by realising that throwing disposable cups in the trash is never the solution,’ said Kotkamills CEO Markku Hämäläinen.
Kotkamills produces 400,000 tonnes of board annually in Kotka, Finland. In addition to Isla food service boards, the mill offers Aegle Pro and Aegle White folding boxboard for pharmaceuticals cosmetics and confectionery packaging. The next gen Aegle barrier board range is also plastic free and easily recyclable, and provides effective protection against grease, liquids or moisture from absorbing into the package.
‘By making plastic free products with water-based dispersion barriers, we are putting the future of sustainable packaging in the hands of companies and consumers. Especially for fibre based packaging producers, the rapid growth in demand for recyclable and sustainable packaging is a great opportunity. Of course, no one can change the world overnight, but we can start making a difference one cup at a time,’ said Markku.
The company is at Packaging Innovations 2019 on stand K42.