Thursday, 02 December 2021

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DS Smith, an Innovative Packaging Company

As we all know, there are always ways that we can improve in making packaging materials recyclable and environmentally friendly. This is a constant feature in the packaging industry. With the continuous push towards a more environmentally friendly and sustainable world, the packaging industry is one of the top industries that is being looked at. This is because everything that consumers purchase must come in a package of some sort, whether it be cardboard, plastic, glass, or wood. Most people do not take into consideration the importance of packaging in our everyday lives, but for those of us who are part of the packaging world, we have a different view of these things. Packaging is more essential than people think. There is a lot that goes into designing the right package for each product. There is the appearance aspect - making a package appealing to the consumer, the effectiveness - maintaining the integrity of the products, allowance for easy transportation, and communicating the product’s information clearly and concisely. There are always innovations introduced in the packaging world that are exciting and new. The push to have an eco-friendly packaging product for all packages is what drives the industry to continuously research for materials that can help achieve this goal. One company that stands out is DS Smith, one of the leading providers of corrugated packaging worldwide. They are a member of the FTSE 100, which consists of the 100 most highly capitalized companies in the U.K., focusing on creating innovative and sustainable packaging solutions by recycling paper and corrugated boxes and reusing it to make packaging materials.

Greentote

An interesting and exciting new product that has been introduced this year is the DS Smith Greentote (DS Smith Introduces Greentote™️, the First 100% Recyclable Alternative to Plastic Bags for Grocery Pickup or Delivery). DS Smith is one of the leaders in providing sustainable packaging solutions, paper products, and recycling services all over the world. They are a company that provides quality packaging that can improve transportation and storage efficiency. Their main focus is sustainability, which they pride themselves in having as one of the foundations of their business strategy. Greentote is a “modular, moisture-resistant and food-contact safe product that helps keep plastic out of the waste stream” (DS Smith Introduces Greentote™️, the First 100% Recyclable Alternative to Plastic Bags for Grocery Pickup or Delivery). It is a great innovation because there is an excessive amount of waste from plastic bags that occurs yearly. Most grocery stores, such as Walmart, have plastic bags that are used once and then disposed of or end up in a stream, pond, or lake. This is extremely damaging to the environment and living creatures. Many times, plastic bags end up in landfills and the ocean. Animals can easily mistake plastic bags for food, which can cause them to choke or get trapped. Why are we still allowing these deadly products to be made? There are alternatives to this, but yet they are still a problem. This is why it is exciting that a company like DS Smith has taken action against this problem and created a product that is safe for the environment and is more useful. The Greentote is made of cardboard and is available in two sizes. It can hold more than three times the number of groceries than typical plastic bags. Not only it is more effective because of its strength and size, but it is also coated with DS Smith’s patented Greencoat. This is a type of coat that is applied to cardboard containers to provide more strength.

Greencoat

Greencoat, a product that was founded by DS Smith, is a wax-free, 100% recyclable, coated package. This product is more effective than the typical wax-coated boxes that are used to pack and ship cold and wet products, which cannot be recycled. Greencoat provides the same functions while being 100% recyclable. This saves customers of this industry wax disposal fees and creates revenue towards recycling. In the past five years, over 377,469 tons of Greencoat boxes were recycled. This means that they were saved from being sent to landfills contrary to if they were regular wax-coated boxes. Not only did it reduce landfill waste, but it also reduced energy use by 5,690,127 BTUs, which helps in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions. Recently, DS Smith partnered with Collins Bros. Produce and provided them its signature Greencoat boxes to support their cause of helping growers, distributors, and others who faced economic strain caused by the coronavirus pandemic that began in 2020. David Collins, the owner of Collins Bros Produce, stated that Greencoat packaging was the perfect solution for shipping food boxes. He claimed that it was a very effective method of preventing moisture and maintaining the package’s strength throughout the supply chain. Packages like these are used in the poultry, produce, and seafood industries which must maintain their packages cool to prevent from going bad. Greencoat is biodegradable and is made of sustainable and renewable paper fiber that helps reduce waste and carbon emissions. It offers customizable printing for bespoke branding.

Corrugated Pallets

DS Smith offers its customers an option to receive corrugated pallets that are easily designed to fit the needs of the products to be shipped. These pallets are a cleaner, greener, more cost-effective, and lighter alternative to traditional wooden and plastic pallets. They are a type of economical, ecological, and ergonomic cardboard pallet that is 100% recyclable. They consist of one or two corrugated top deck sheets, corrugated blocks or runners, and an optional bottom deck sheet. The standard wooden pallets that are usually seen in stores or warehouses can be hazardous because they are heavy, contain nails and splinters, and sometimes port insects and bacteria. This is especially a problem when handling items such as foods. Not only this, but exposure to wood dust has been associated with many adverse health effects and has been classified as a carcinogen. The corrugated pallets are lighter and decrease the risk of injury while handling and eliminate hazardous material in a warehouse. They also reduce shipping costs as they do not incur secondary costs like wood pallets do. They are the ideal product for food and pharmaceutical industries as they lower the risk of contamination. Wooden pallets often face restrictions while corrugated pallets avoid this. A big plus is that these pallets can be sold as wastepaper after the end of their use. They are easily customizable, allowing customers to select the deck strength needed to support the load, choosing block quantity and pattern to fit the pallet size, and weight capacity requirements.

SizzlePak

SizzlePak is a special stuffing material made of paper that is folded into a zigzag shape and cut into thin strips. While shipped to the consumer, it is compressed into a container to fit more into a smaller area and it recovers its original form once it has been taken out. The advantages of this product are that it is virtually dust-free, 100% biodegradable, environment-friendly, it provides efficient protection, it is clean and easy to handle, and it comes in economical packaging. DS Smith offers their product in 29 different colors (see figure 6), and also offers additional colors upon request. This material is great to use for business gifts, toys, porcelain, and other products that need cushion protection. The zigzag shape paper interlaces to form a more compact mass and helps ensure that the smallest gaps within a package are filled and prevent products from moving or breaking during the shipment process.

Mandrel Forming Concept

The mandrel is one of the main principals of the DS Smith Packaging Systems case formers. It is a box-forming concept that is innovative and at the base of the DS Smith technology. Flat cardboard die-cuts are shaped around a mandrel, which is used to perfectly fit them in the shape of the box. This concept offers the ideal solution for non-load-bearing products such as flexible pouches, but it is also a perfect tool for load-bearing products. The mandrel concept is great to lower costs because it allows you to reduce the packaging board grades and surfaces. The packaging weight can be reduced by up to 50% as it improves vertical compression resistance. It guarantees that the case squaring is perfect and reduces package variability. The mandrel technology is based on the PACE program developed by DS Smith Group. Its purpose is to have full control of the box manufacturing process to guarantee packaging performance while using as little material as possible. The mandrel offers high-speed packaging for better productivity, quick format changes, low maintenance costs, and optimized energy consumption. It reduces logistic costs by delivering cardboard die-cuts in a flat state in order to reduce upstream transport and storage costs. The range of case-centering devices formed on DS Smith machines allows for less damaged products because of the perfect stability it gives to the pallets. Because the mandrel is adaptable to the packaging used for different distribution lines, there is no need to spend more money on repacking steps. It can go directly from a customer plant with mandrel case former straight to foodservice companies, convenience stores, or retail stores. It allows you to shape any sort of packaging because of its extreme flexibility which enables you to fulfill your clients’ needs. The cases offered with eight edges offer more communication surface to translate the product’s ideas to the customer. As seen below in Figure 7, the case is formed perfectly using a mandrel to fit it in the shape desired.

Electrostatic Discharge Packaging

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is the sudden movement of charged particles from one object to another once contact has been made between the two. It is when two objects which have electric charge come in contact with each other and create a small jolt. Static electricity can cause major damages to electrical devices and may even cause a fire if introduced to flammable liquids or gases. This is why it is important to have packaging that reduces the buildup of an electrical charge. There are three main types of ESD packaging that help: conductive material, dissipative material, and anti-static material.

Conductive material helps conduct electric charges away from the objects. It prevents the buildup of an electric charge and allows the flow of electricity to a convenient level.

Dissipative material is meant to slow the flow of electricity. They help reduce the strength of an electrical charge.

Anti-static material is designed to inhibit tribocharging and help prevent the buildup of static electricity completely. They are a great form of reducing company loss due to ESD events.

DS Smith offers ESD Packaging as a solution to safely transporting and packaging electronic devices.

Conclusion

DS Smith is a great packaging company that cares about sustainability and the environment. They are constantly looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and help create biodegradable or recyclable materials and packages that will help in their cause. By applying the above products to many more companies, we can take a step forward toward proving an eco-friendlier industry. These were just a few examples of materials and products that are leading the path toward a safer way to ship and package products.

References

https://www.nefab.com/en/news-insights/2017/esd-protective-packaging/

https://www.dssmith.com/packagingmachinery/customer-benefits/more-sales

https://www.dssmith.com/packagingmachinery/offering/packaging-machines/case-formers

https://www.dssmith.com/packaging/offering/products/packaging/electrostatic-discharge-packaging

https://www.dssmith.com/packaging/offering/products/corrugated-pallets

https://www.dssmith.com/greencoat/about/the-greencoat-story

https://www.glpackaging.com/corrugated-pallets.html?keyword=corrugated%20pallets&gclid=Cj0KCQjw38-DBhDpARIsADJ3kjnFsAwOx7SnoLD_jzuiw1T_PfhYfu9JQFe6MFXmh4uUb_i7-0Kh6OYaAkReEALw_wcB

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