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Creation helps Whitworths go solvent free in its flexible packaging

Packaging Solutions


Creation Reprographics has helped leading dried fruit, nuts and snacks business, Whitworths, support brand wide sustainability by going solvent free in its flexible packaging pre-press.


Aiming to further reduce the carbon impact of its packaging, Whitworths has now moved its flexible packaging designs to water washable Fujifilm Flenex-FW flexo plates, manufactured by Creation.



In line with the company’s investment in packaging circularity and recyclability, the move marks another key change in the sustainability journey of Whitworths. Eliminating the need for solvents in pre-press, Flenex-FW plate technology reduces energy use requirements and removes harmful VOC washout.


Matt Francklow, managing director at Creation, explained: ‘We are delighted to partner with Whitworths and manufacture water washable flexo plates for its diverse product range. Our work with Whitworths really amplifies an important message; sustainability, value and quality are not mutually exclusive with the support of a dedicated partner like Creation.


‘Developed by technology powerhouse Fujifilm, Flenex-FW brings a host of advantages over classic solvent plate technology. Crucially, the plates require less energy to produce than conventional polymer plates, and in an environment where business energy bills are still sky high, that is an important benefit to have.


‘Print quality and registration are excellent, and a lightning fast makeready of just 40 minutes delivers more time on-press and increased productivity. The rubber based compound of Flenex-FW means a 1% flat top dot can be achieved without the need for complex systems to eliminate oxygen. This, in turn, means lower dot gain than conventional polymer plates. As a result, the precision is absolute, and the replicability truly impresses.’


In addition to supplying high performance flexo plates to its customers in the packaging and label sectors, Creation also operates as a ‘Flenex-FW Centre of Excellence’. Believing that hands-on experience is the best way to appreciate the technology, Creation invites printers to see the plates in action at its Daventry headquarters.


Creation specialises in packaging and label reprographics that contribute to print supply chain sustainability. In addition to its water washable flexo plate technology, the business also offers a suite of services that help printers to optimise their resources and control costs, including colour management and digital workflow solutions.


Mark Oaten, packaging innovation manager at Whitworths, added: ‘As part of our long term sustainability strategy, we are driving towards true circularity and we dream of a world where nothing goes to waste. The work doesn’t stop with material innovation, however. We knew there would be further opportunities to lower our carbon impact, and as a go to name in label and packaging pre-press solutions, we knew that Creation would be able to help us find those opportunities.


‘The transition has been simple; the Flenex-FW plates deliver the exceptional quality that our customers have come to expect, all backed by Creation’s impressive technical expertise. For true industry change we must see every part of the supply chain as connected; everything contributes to a lower overall carbon impact.’


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