Prioritizing Sustainability and Quality in Folded Paper Products

10/30/2019 | Steve Francies

Sustainability has transitioned from buzzword to global call-to-action in a world dealing with ongoing environmental crises. In the paper industry, sensitivity is heightened around sustainability given the materials used to manufacture products. In burgeoning categories such as paper towels — a worldwide market projected to grow at a CAGR of nearly 5% over the next half-decade1 — ecology is a top priority, as demonstrated by emerging trends and technologies surrounding folded products.

Moving Toward Sustainability

Greener products are now a must-have in the global marketplace, presenting both challenges and opportunities to tissue converters and manufacturers.

There have been gains in some areas, such as the substantial reduction of plastic packaging through the use of bioplastics to keep landfill waste to a minimum. There’s also a shift away from introducing harmful substances during production to solutions such as glue-free technologies that increase environmental and operational efficiencies

Even the smaller carton sizes and higher compression of sustainable products play a role in saving resources. Smaller cartons translate to more cartons per case, and more cartons per truckload — significantly reducing the amount of energy required for transport. 

Automated Solutions, Sustainable Choices

Using greener materials and producing sustainable products means a shift in processes for tissue manufacturers and converters. 

For interfolded products for the AFH market, like folded paper towels, MTC has developed an inline banding machine to deliver an excellent density on finished products. This translates into a much nicer pack presentation, and even more importantly, into a reduced carbon footprint thanks to bulk reduction that enables a significant reduction in overall finished product volume. More product can be packed and shipped on fewer trucks for far less environmentally impactful transportation.

In addition, MTC has also made strategic decisions about the products used in its banding machines and embossing gluing units.  Each machine can now use these eco-sustainable glues:

  • Eco Green Lamination Glue Used in MTC’s embossing gluing unit, it enables a much higher dilution ratio, which reduces consumption and the amount added to finished product.
  • Eco Green Hot Melt Glue Used on the MTC paper bander, this glue can be applied at lower temperatures, which substantially reduces energy usage and costs for the packaging process.

Taking responsibility for the environment is everyone’s responsibility. Fabio Perini and MTC give tissue manufacturers and converters viable solutions that provide opportunities to lean into folded product sustainability without sacrificing quality or production value. Contact Fabio Perini or MTC to learn more about next-level automation, thinking, and innovations that will make the world a greener place.

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1MarketWatch, Paper Towels Market 2024: Global Size, Key Companies, Trends, Growth, and Regional Forecasts Research, August 14, 2019

Topics: Trends, Operations

Steve Francies

Written by Steve Francies

Steve Francies has more than 25 years of experience in the folded sector. He worked at Green Bay Engineering and Fabio Perini as a technician, production lead, and trainer for interfolder equipment, and has experience installing machines around the world. Since 2013 he's served as a Sales/Project Manager at MTC North America, covering all aspects from mechanical and electrical theory to modern-day data transforming technology.