Pan-European project aims to revolutionise sustainable paper packaging

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Sheffield hallam university

Pan-European project aims to revolutionise sustainable paper packaging
Experts from 10 countries will bid to “change the face of paper packaging” by creating innovative sustainable packing with enhanced properties as part of a new European Union funded scheme.

The UK’s Sheffield Hallam University announced it has secured funding topping €3m (£2.5m) to launch NEWGENPACK which it hopes will create the next generation of environmentally paper packaging.

Eco and economicaly friendly

The group, with specialists from Sweden, Poland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and the UK, said it is targetting the development of new packaging that is both sustainable and economically viable.

The participants will carry out top level, individual research projects to advance in three major fields: next generation packaging composites, cellulose fibre based active packaging and the effect of packaging production on the environment, the economy and society as a whole.

The initiative also has a brief to foster the next generation of packaging experts equipped with the know-how and multi-disciplinary skills to develop future sustainable packaging solutions.

Project leader professor Chris Breen, of the university's Materials and Engineering Research Institute, said: "Currently very few researchers are trained to deal with such a broad variety of disciplines, and are thus insufficiently prepared to assist with the commercial challenges of delivering sustainable packages that are both economically viable and environmentally fit for purpose. ”

He added the training aspect of the project was a major one to create the experts "who will drive continuing progress in sustainable packaging”.

Enhancing barrier properties

Carol Hammond, head of R&D at Chesapeake, one of the research partners, declared the expertise created by the project has the potential to create a new generation of packaging.

"Cardboard products are made from a very sustainable material. If it is enhanced with greater functionality, such as barrier properties to prevent moisture loss or has increased shape flexibility, its use can be extended to a greater number of market applications,”​ she said. "Our team of experts is focused on developing the next generation of environmentally-friendly products that could change the face of paper packaging."

Related topics Processing & Packaging

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