A pan-European project that aims to revolutionize paper packaging being coordinated by the UK's Sheffield Hallam University, has secured EU funding in-excess of €3m. It is expected to result in the development of "NewGenPack'"- the next generation of environmentally friendly paper packaging.
Experts from across Europe are pooling ideas and resources to ‘change the face of paper packaging' and create innovative sustainable packaging with enhanced properties.
Carol Hammond, head of R&D at Chesapeake, who is one of the research partners, declared that the expertise bought together for the project has the potential to create a new generation of packaging.
"Cardboard products are inherently 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. "The team of experts is focused on developing the next generation of environmentally-friendly products that could change the face of paper packaging."
The group, with specialists from Sweden, Poland, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands and the UK, said it will focus on the development of new packaging that is both sustainable and economically viable. The participants are carrying 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 has the brief to foster the next generation of research experts equipped with the know-how and multi-disciplinary skills to develop future sustainable packaging solutions.
Project coordinator, 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 therefore 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 part to create the experts, "who will drive continuing progress in sustainable packaging."
Source: Packaging Digest