SUSTAINABILITY AND TISSUE CONVERTING

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THE IMPORTANCE OF SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES

By 2035, global plastics production is expected to reach 650 million tons per year.1 Applying current consumption rates to the projected numbers, it’s logical to conclude that at least 40% of the plastic — 260 million tons — will be used strictly for packaging.1

It’s both an alarming statistic and a looming reality if steps aren’t taken to curtail the excessively heavy reliance on plastic. The tissue industry is among the leaders in finding solutions, and Fabio Perini is actively researching bioplastics and other product sustainability options that give tissue manufacturers and converters viable alternatives to plastic packaging.

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PLASTIC PACKAGING REDUCTION EFFORTS

Reducing the amount and impact of plastic packaging is a top-down effort. Stringent legislation has been enacted in several European countries that impose levies on plastics use and enforce recyclability protocols. Major plastics producers are forming worldwide coalitions to drive change in product sustainability to support a circular economy by as early as 2025.2

Major retailers are also taking the initiative to curtail plastics’ use. ALDI, the common brand of two German family-owned discount supermarket chains, recently announced the brand will no longer use plastic packaging for toilet paper, and global health and hygiene company Essity has committed to having 85% of its packaging manufactured from renewable or recycled material within the next six years.3

 

Where is it all headed? These resources provide clarity:

 

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The Circular Economy of Plastics — Part 1: What’s Now, What’s Next
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The Circular Economy of Plastics — Part 2: Finding Viable Packaging Alternatives
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How Bioplastics and Tissue Manufacturers are Solving an Eco-Crisis
  

BIOPLASTICS

The pivot away from plastics has a wide swath of industries and suppliers — including tissue manufacturers and converters — seeking sustainable packaging alternatives. Bioplastics continue to gain popularity.

 

Bioplastics are plastics made from a renewable resource (plant- and animal-based materials, etc.), biodegradable plastics (capable of breaking down naturally), or both. BIoplastics substantially reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote sustainability, but the base materials are expensive and aren’t currently available on an industrial scale. 


To overcome these obstacles, biodegradable plastics are being combined with other eco-friendly materials. For example, Fabio Perini, with its Casmatic brand, and partnering companies used certain FSC-certified 100% biodegradable virgin papers and recycled papers to develop two plastic alternatives: 100% compostable BIO paper with Vinicotte OK compost certification, and 100% recyclable and biodegradable paper.

 

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SUSTAINABILITY: A BROADER VIEW

Sustainable product packaging is an integral focus for sustainable practices, but often the definition is narrowed to whether or not the materials used are recyclable. Ignoring the amount of packaging used could undermine sustainability efforts. Simply put, excessive packaging means excessive packaging waste in landfills.

The same holds true for products.

Designers are proactively eliminating unnecessary elements to make packaging more holistic in the circular economy4, and tissue manufacturers  are following suit thanks to Fabio Perini innovations, including:

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SOLID® AND SOLID+® COMPACT REWINDERS

Perini-patented Solid and Solid+ rewinding technologies eliminate the use of a central core. Solid produces rolls wound with no cardboard core, and Solid+ is the first toilet roll to replace the traditional inner cardboard core with an extractable mini roll.

  

Elimination of adhesives during the tissue converting process also helps reduce waste and stress on the environment. Fabio Perini is assisting tissue manufacturers and converters in product sustainability and other sustainable practices with these adhesive-free solutions:

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AQUABOND WATER LAMINATION (GLUELESS TECHNOLOGY)

A sustainable water lamination technology, Aquabond replaces adhesive with water during ply bonding of pure or recycled paper fiber, without requiring new machinery or compromising the machine's mechanical features and quality of the final product.

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WEB TUCK GLUELESS REWINDER

The Web Tuck system allows for initial core pick-up without adhesive. Web Tuck technology is available on Horizon, Historia and Millennium rewinders to make production sustainable, less messy and wasteful, and more cost-efficient.

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TAIL SEALER 563

The Tail Sealer 563 combines the features of a rewinder with a new tail sealing system that joins the tail to the roll using mechanics instead of adhesive.

  

Moving toward technologies that embrace non-plastic materials and solutions, there will be a premium placed on pulp and paper. Replacing plastic packaging with paper in the U.S. and Europe would cause paper consumption to spike by 1.5 million tons — and that would only cover 5% of the plastic-to-paper packaging transition.5 Since the total global capacity of virgin paperboard is projected at 1.8 million tons over the next five years, sustainable fiber supplies are being sought out in fiber-rich parts of Nordic countries, Latin America, Russia, and North America.5

Another way to bolster fiber supply is being introduced by companies like Apple and Samsung, both of which intend to source packaging from sustainably-managed forests identified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certifications (PEFC).

Read more about the impact of technology and product advancements in the tissue industry:

 

Glue-Free Technologies Increase Environmental and Operational Efficiencies

  

ENERGY EFFICIENCY & ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

Energy efficiency and environmental sustainability go hand in hand, especially when you consider pulp and paper ranks within the top tier of industries that are considered energy-intensive.

It’s common for energy-related production costs for tissue processing to be budgeted at anywhere from 10-40%6 — a substantial operational investment.

As in production, technologies are playing pivotal roles in bringing energy consumption and costs down. The increased Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) tissue converters glean from Fabio Perini’s Digital Tissue™ platform of services and technical solutions speaks directly to the influence of data collection and analysis:

A smart application to collect, monitor and analyze real-time data of single machines, an entire line, and more lines in the same facility, or across different locations.

A smart application that helps integrate and monitor converting and packaging processes to maximize production output without human intervention.

A digital solution for predictive maintenance that identifies deviation in process functionality and plans maintenance operations in advance. Machine vibration sensors collect, measure and analyze data to detect anomalies and take appropriate actions.

Real-time virtual production supervisors that measure and control the most important properties of tissue and finished product: paper caliper, log weight, log diameter and log firmness.

  

Digitial Tissue eBook

 

Likewise, our equipment technologies — specifically the Energy Efficiency Pack that is standard on all Perini lines — contains energy-efficient drives for main equipment motors that increase motor efficiency by an average of 3% and re-use power generated through line deceleration.

This resource gives you an in-depth look at steps the tissue industry is taking to increase energy and operational efficiency:

 

How Tissue Converters Can Manage Energy to Save Money and the Planet

  

SELECTING A PARTNER

Fabio Perini prides itself on being the preferred partner to tissue converters looking for working relationships built on experience, trust, and vision. Our diverse capabilities enable us to lean into challenges and remain nimble in our approach to solutions, including future-focused initiatives that entail sustainable practices and products.

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A leader in providing the tools, technology and support for the tissue industry, Fabio Perini can help you make your converting operation greener. Reach out today.

SOURCES

1European Commission, A European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, Undated

2New Plastics Economy, Global Commitment (web page), Undated

3Tissue World Magazine, Essity sets sustainability targets for packaging, June 6, 2019

4Noissue, 2019 Packaging Design Trends, December 28, 2018

5Fisher International, From Plastic to Paper: How Will Sustainability Trends Impact the Pulp and Paper Industry?, March, 2019

6Siemens, Energy for industry, Undated