LEANDER KRITIKOS, Director of Procos GmbH, discusses the emergence of new regulations on packaging and the impact it has on retailers in the luxury market…
In some aspects of modern life, we read that paper is a thing of the past, but in the packaging world the importance of paper is growing significantly. The increased use of paper is partly down to its potential for luxury presentation, but also by necessity, as society takes more responsibility for protecting our environment. There is already a global awareness of the issues associated with plastic waste and now local authorities and governments are taking legislative action to reduce the use of plastic in certain applications and in some cases ban it completely.
This has led to many new regulations that favour eco-friendly paper solutions; for example, the Hong Kong government introduced a ruling that obligates every retailer to charge their customers HKG 5 for each bag that is considered to be a plastic bag – and every bag that contains some element of plastic is considered a plastic bag. In some areas of the USA, retailers have been prohibited from supplying plastic bags altogether. Laws are now in place that even requires paper with a minimum of 40% recycled content to be used in packaging items. In the UK, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and several other Europe governments, are campaigning to reduce the use of plastic bags significantly. This has resulted in an increased demand for paper bags.
To the same extent, there are regulations in place to ensure that alternative materials like paper are obtained and used in a sustainable way, such as those laid out by FLEGT (Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade) or the EUTR (European Timber Regulation).
From our side, we very much welcome these developments towards more sustainable packaging as it is fully aligned with our beliefs. We have been well-prepared over the last few years having already produced several versions of very eco-friendly luxury bags, some using only one material (paper), others with soy based inks, cellulose based laminations etc. All of these solutions reach the highest ecological standards, but at the same time fulfil the quality expected of luxury materials. In addition to this on-going research and development work, we keep paper with up to 100% PCW (post consumer waste) content permanently on stock and we can offer coatings that go a long way towards replacing plastic materials.
To further underline our commitment, Procos GmbH became a full member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)®. As a non-profit organisation, the FSC® “shall promote environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world’s forests” (Our Mission, https://ic.fsc.org/en/about-fsc/vision-mission).
We aim to make sure that our clients are aware of new regulations and allow them to remain compliant. It is essential for any retail packaging company in the high-end business to offer extraordinary quality in a wide range of products and, since 1998, Procos has had a long tradition of doing just that. Some clients come to Procos with an inquiry based upon their marketing campaign, while others are seeking innovative ideas and want to be inspired. Procos offers a dedicated customer service, providing the client with expert knowledge and a focus on the individual requirements of each project. The continued education of our employees and a flexible engagement with packaging trends ensures the quality of up-to-date luxury packaging concepts, made by Procos.