PulPac targets Japanese plastic reduction with first Asian licensee for Dry Molded Fiber
02 Mar 2023 --- PulPac has announced Nippon Molding as its first licensee in Japan in a move that expands Dry Molded Fiber production to Asia. Nippon Molding has ordered its first PulPac Modula from PulPac machine partner TechTribe, a Swedish supplier of complete solutions in industrial automation.
The companies aim for a speedy commercial launch to help supply the growing Japanese packaging market with Dry Molded Fiber products, starting with coffee lids and food trays.
“We are aiming to make a global impact and establish Dry Molded Fiber as a new standard for economically and environmentally sustainable packaging worldwide – driving the shift away from unnecessary single-use plastics,” Sanna Fager, PulPac’s chief commercial officer, tells PackagingInsights.
“Every new market we enter is a step in that direction. Entering a new market with our business model based on partnerships and collaboration also empowers other converters to follow.”
Nippon Molding’s mission is to use limited resources effectively. The company has a long history in the molded fiber industry and is a leading producer of egg trays for the poultry industry in Japan. It now pursues the possibilities of paper by expanding its offer with Dry Molded Fiber.
Dry Molded Fiber in Japan
Nippon Molding typically uses recycled paper from Anjo City as raw materials for pulp molding, which is collected via resource collection from elementary schools, junior high schools, town and children’s associations and confidential corporate documents.
“They are a fast-moving partner known for their quick lead times, strong sustainability focus, profound expertise and high-quality packaging solutions in molded fiber,” continues Fager.
Now the company will implement Dry Molded Fiber instead of other pulp materials.
“Making this revolutionary fiber-forming technology available to our customers will drive sustainability in the Japanese market and contribute to a greener society,” says Takehiro Ishihara, general manager of Nippon Molding.
Dry Molded Fiber is invented, patented and licensed by PulPac. It is a fiber-forming technology that can replace traditional fiber molding and single-use plastic with low-cost, resource-efficient, fiber-based alternatives.
Turn-key machine solutions based on the PulPac Modula machine platform are supplied by a network of PulPac partners, enabling fast technology scaling.
Japan’s plastic regulations
PulPac states that Asia is a big market producing much of the world’s petrochemical plastics, with Japan being a big contributor to plastic waste due to its ample use of packaging. The company says it fiber solutions can help Japan meet its plastic reduction goals..
“Japanese regulations state that businesses that provide five metric tons or more of plastic products per year are obliged to reduce the amount used. The law covers 12 items, including spoons and forks offered at supermarkets and convenience stores and toothbrushes. We can help the Japanese industry to shift to competitive fiber-based products here,” asserts Fager.
“It is an interesting market as it has high demands on quality and efficiency, where Dry Molded Fiber is a suitable manufacturing method. We ultimately want to enter all markets and start where we see that we find converters with the right knowledge and willingness to adopt our technology.”
In other news, SustainaPac joined PulPac’s licensee network to introduce Dry Molded Fiber technology to North America. SustainaPac intends to establish itself as a source of highly economical natural fiber and single-use foodservice packaging products for the North American quick service restaurant market.
Also, PulPac and PA Consulting launched the Bottle Collective, a joint project to showcase PulPac’s fiber bottle made from Dry Molded Fiber technology, designed to help minimize the use of single-use plastic bottles.
By Sabine Waldeck
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