M-real to donate two packaging products, Carta Solida, Carte Elega, to PrintCity Alliance's VAPack initiative to be presented at Interpack 2011; project to showcase packaging techniques for displays

ESPOO, Finland , May 13, 2011 (press release) – M-real, Europe’s leading producer of primary fibre paperboards, is pleased to be part of the VAPack initiative presented at Interpack 2011 by the PrintCity Alliance. The VAPack project aims to help brand owners and designers appreciate the opportunities and benefits of using value added packaging techniques to attract consumers, differentiate products and in brand development.  M-real is donating two products - Carta Solida in 250 gsm and Carta Elega in 255 gsm – suitable for both the packaging and graphical applications covered under the project.

As the major supplier of folding boxboards within the VAPack project, M-real is able to contribute a wealth of advice on efficient packaging and the sustainability of cartonboards.  Its focus in recent years has been the development of lighter weight boards that have the stiffness and performance of a heavier board but at a lower basis weight.  This has both cost and sustainability benefits, as less raw material, chemicals and energy are used and there is less weight to transport.  Life cycle assessments conducted for M-real have found that a 15% reduction in board weight equates to a 18% reduction in carbon footprint.

Efficient packaging can also be defined as providing optimum performance throughout the packaging value chain.  M-real’s boards have excellent consistency which lead to better runnability on the converting line, fewer stoppages and less waste.  M-real has also undertaken research to test box compression in real life situations such as stacking and palletising.  This has confirmed that lighter weight boards can be used without compromising the quality or performance of finished cartons.

All M-real’s boards are made from pure primary fibres, an important attribute when the safety of food and pharmaceutical products are concerned as well as reducing the risk of taint and odour transfer to other sensitive products including cosmetics and tobacco.  M-real is increasing its folding boxboard capacity at three mills during this year (2011) and next, and will have altogether 150,000 tonnes per year new capacity, a large share of which is targeted at the food industry.

Using boards made from primary fibres helps maintain the world’s forests via sustainable management.  When trees are growing, forests freely support a multitude of ecosystems with many side benefits for the environment, for local communities and for the world by sequestrating CO2 from the atmosphere.

”It is vital that board makers can prove their wood comes from sustainably managed forests via sophisticated and certified wood origin tracking systems,” says Stefan Kranz, Technical Service Director of M-real.  ”Sustainable forest management not only ensures a supply of good quality raw material into the future, but it is equally valuable for everyone to enjoy all the other benefits that forests provide.”

The high quality wood fibres used in M-real’s boards provide a valuable raw material for recycling.  Wood fibres can be reused three to five times, but deteriorate each time they are recycled, meaning primary fibre boards and papers must be continuously be added to the fibre flow.  Cartons that cannot be recycled can also serve a useful purpose either by being composted or used as waste to energy.

The PrintCity VAPack project focuses on the needs of brand owners and designers by opening discussions on the latest developments and benefits of value-added packaging techniques.  Members involved in the project are manroland, Merck, M-real, Sun Chemical, Kurz, Weilburger Graphics and UPM.

PrintCity is a unique integrated cross-industry alliance that fosters co-operation across the graphics arts value chain.  Its goal is to respond to the major challenges facing the industry, sharing knowledge through seminars, trade fairs, project studies, publications and electronic platforms.

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