Specialities: Exciting times
Last month Technical Product Manager Ann Nilsson attended Specialty Papers Europe in Berlin. She tells us why it was worth the visit
It’s always good to meet customers face to face and keep updated on their thoughts and projects, but this event was also a chance to hear about the rapid progress being achieved in the search for sustainable alternatives to plastic. The conference has really grown since the last time I attended a few years ago, attracting around 250 people. It’s a reflection of the fact that speciality paper is a market everyone is keen to be involved with right now – high value but also high growth as the search for sustainable alternatives in many applications intensifies.
For us, it’s a particularly interesting market since it often means close cooperation with the customer to meet exceptionally high demands and achieve properties for specific applications. There was a lot of talk too this year about a product’s lifecycle and that’s good news for us since we place cradle-to-grave sustainability at the heart of all our operations.
From print on demand and recyclable barrier coatings to 100% recyclable metallized bags and engineered polysaccharides, our customers are involved in a broad range of R&D and product innovation, so this is an exciting area. We’re continuing to look at ways of offering bespoke solutions for demanding applications that are seeking a positive environmental impact.
With more than 8 million tonnes of plastic entering the ocean each year, and the three best known ocean clean-up programmes removing only 0.5% of that volume, change is imperative. There is an urgent need to stop plastics becoming waste and entering the ocean in the first place. But there can be no compromise on performance of more sustainable alternatives and plastic is a low-cost material, so that’s a challenge. It’s one we’re excited to be part of and we are keen to work with our speciality customers to find optimal sustainable solutions for the future.
Show all content for topic.