The sustainable packaging of the future is created at UMV in Säffle
UMV Coating Systems in Säffle is home to one of the world’s most advanced machines for developing fossil-free barriers for food packaging.
“The pressure to find sustainable packaging solutions has increased tremendously over the past five years. And that trend will continue,” says Tom Larsson, sales manager.
A barrier is a protective surface found in many types of food packaging. They are often made of plastic or aluminium. Replacing these materials with more environmentally friendly alternatives is important. Partly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and partly to make packaging degradable and easier to recycle.
New sustainable products
With the help of UMV’s pilot machine, a so-called test bed, companies and others can perform tests to develop new, more climate friendly products.
“For example, it can be about replacing plastics, wax and fluorochemicals in packaging with something more environmentally friendly. To do that, you need to test new ideas in industrial environments,” says Tom Larsson.
UMV guides the industry
UMV’s unique testing environment is used by customers from all over the world. The staff are experts on packaging and barriers and guide the industry in different solutions best suited for the product.
“For us, the test bed is priceless. Here we develop new solutions of our own, but also add value for our customers. There is not one solution that fits all. If you are going to make a recyclable coffee cup for example, you may have use a different process than if you are going to make a hamburger wrapping paper,” says Tom Larsson.
Trends and regulations
UMV’s pilot machine was inaugurated in the 1980s but has been rebuilt many times since then.
“Our customer’s areas of interest and their needs have been completely different depending on trends and regulations. In the 1980s, it was mainly used for graphic tests for magazines and newsprint.”
Now, the focus is on finding climate-smart packaging materials.
“In order to succeed, we are completely dependent on the fact that there are strong players who drive development and work together. On the one hand, experts and test environments such as UMV, but also innovators, researchers and brand owners. And, not least, conscious consumers who make tough demands on the industry”, adds Peter Edberg, project manager at Paper Province.