PrimePak Unbleached – A Sappi Success

From its origins as South African Pulp in 1936, producing paper out of Straw, SAPPI has evolved to serve customers in over 150 countries with a diverse range of products including dissolving pulp, graphic and specialty papers, packaging solutions and innovative biomaterials and bio-energy.

Sappi is a force to be reckoned with in the global packaging and speciality paper sphere. Their product ranges from flexible packaging papers, functional paper packaging, label papers, containerboard paperboard, silicone-based papers and dye-sublimination papers.

Kelebogile Nondzaba speaks toKatherine Wölke, product and development manager for SAPPI on the success of PrimePak Unbleached produced at its Ngodwana Mill outside Nelspruit.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

In this Q&A we investigate SAPPI’S PrimePak Unbleached (PPU) packaging, exploring its key features and benefits for the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) and retail base grade for speciality packaging.

We also discuss the impact PPU has had on sustainability as the momentum on the removal of single-use plastics gathers pace.

We also uncover the innovative aspects of PPU that set it apart in the crowded competitive market, catering for the evolving preferences of eco-conscious consumers.

Sappi takes sustainability seriously, explains Wölke.  Sappi have ensured that their food paper packaging, including the PPU product range offered to the market tick all sustainable boxes.

PPU is an uncoated, unbleached virgin kraft paper designed for various flexible packaging applications including secondary fast-food packaging, specialised grocery packaging, home and fashion packaging, pharmacy bags, charcoal bags amongst many others.

Some of the exciting benefits this product offers the market includes:

  • High tear and burst properties to protect the contents
  • Excellent runnability with high conversion speeds
  • Excellent printability
  • Reduced environmental impact
  • Excellent glue acceptance with strong adhesive bond for handles if required
  • No dust when slitting
  • Recyclable and biodegradable

PPU is available in reels of 50,60,70,80,90 & 100gsm.

PPU is FDA accredited

Available as FSC™ (FSC™ -C019831) and PEFC (PEFC/49-32-11). The production mill is certified: ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 45001, ISO 50001, EMAS.

Q. How has the introduction of PrimePak Unbleached (PPU) paper bag packaging impacted the sustainability and environmental initiatives of companies that use it?

A. There have been great strides made from many companies to offer more sustainable alternatives to the traditional single-use plastic bag. With sustainability on everyone’s lips and the added EPR initiatives in place in South Africa, the move to paper bags is a natural choice. Many retailers are seeing the environmental benefit of moving to paper, knowing that their sustainability targets are met. Consumers alike are also becoming more environmentally aware of their choices and the effect their choices have on the environment. As their knowledge and responsibility grows, so too their demands for more sustainable solutions.

    Q. What innovations or unique features of PPU make them stand out in a crowded retail space and how do they cater to consumer preferences?

    A. PPU is not only recyclable and biodegradable but it also forms part of the circular economy without compromising on the strength properties this market requires. As virgin fibres are used in producing this high-quality product, light weighting can be achieved without comprising on strength and thus reducing carbon footprint. Shade consistency is also achieved due to the virgin fibres used in the production of this product.

    As virgin fibres are used in producing this high-quality product, light weighting can be achieved without comprising on strength and thus reducing carbon footprint. Shade consistency is also achieved due to the virgin fibres used in the production of this product.

    It must also be said there is a misconception that virgin fibre is not as sustainable as using recycled fibre. The truth is that there is a need for both. Without new fibres from new trees, the paper cycle cannot be maintained. Moreover, packaging applications require fresh fibre from sustainably maintained forests to keep the renewable cycle going. The wood fibre used in PPU are all importantly FSC™ certified.

    Q. What has the reaction been from bag-manufactures and converters who have been using PPU since its launch?

    A. Feedback from converters has been extremely positive citing reduced down-time, faster converting, less clean-up time all allowing for faster turn-around.

    Q. What support and resources does SAPPI offer to retailers who want to transition to (PPU) paper bag packaging and how does this support influence their decision-making process?

    A. Support, first and foremost, begins with education. Education and collaboration together with our converting, QRS partners and retailers as well as the very important end-users.

    Not only do we meet the requirements of the industry at the right time but we also address a very important environmental requirement that every single person on this planet needs to be accountable for.

    Sappi are proud of creating and producing fit for use products that are beneficial to not only the people it is intended for but the planet as well. 


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