Bosch's paper packaging solutions are dust-tight and 100% recyclable.

LAS VEGAS – The consumer trend in baking and snack toward clean label, natural and sustainable products goes beyond the food, and many consumers are looking to packaging materials to see how sustainable a company’s products are.

Bosch Packaging Corp. at Pack Expo Las Vegas, being held Sept. 25-27, showcased new sustainable sealed paper packaging that is dust-tight yet fully recyclable for dry products such as sugar, grains and flour. Stefan König, president, Bosch, said the company saw the push for sustainability and the trend toward transparency in the market in everything from ingredients to packaging materials. Plastics are perceived to be harmful to the environment and less eco-friendly by many consumers.

“We have seen large and small companies start sustainability programs from the top down,” Mr. König said. 

The sealed paper packaging process developed by Bosch can now be used on two packaging machines, the continuous motion vertical form/fill/seal (vffs) bagger and PME mandrel wheel machine.

“The paper is processed like it is a film. The machine doesn’t know the difference,” said Marcus Velezmoro, senior sales manager, Bosch. 

The challenge with paper packaging in the past has been creating an air-tight seal that properly protects a product. Bosch has developed a sealing process that’s flexible for several types of bags and created the same seal as a plastic package. Bosch applies strips of sealing materials to the interior of the bags and heat seal the top and bottom of a variety of bags. To add to sustainable claims made with the paper packaging, only the needed areas of the package are treated with the heat seal so as not to waste any unnecessary material.

While switching from plastic to paper looks great from a sustainability perspective, matching the throughput and efficiency of plastic was a challenge Bosch had to address. Other forms of paper cannot handle the stress involved in a vffs machine, but the specialized paper Bosch developed in partnership with Billerudkorsnäs can stretch and maintain its shape throughout the process without tearing. This allows the process to maintain a high output, matching many plastic vffs processes.

“People of course said this would be nice, moving from plastic to paper, but we had to achieve the right performance levels to make it cost effective,” Mr. Velezmoro said. The vffs is able to package up to 75 paper packages per minute.

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