Author: Bart Devos, CEO, AR Metallizing
No matter what product you sell, the packaging needs to look great, reflect your brand’s values and remain functional. In a highly competitive market, this often leads brands to use plastic in their packaging, leaving environmental concerns to one side as they opt for a material capable of surviving the rigours of transportation.
It’s easy to see why companies adopt plastic: it’s light, convenient, versatile, strong and inexpensive. That said, a great deal of research has been conducted to assess the impact of plastic packaging on the environment. The disposal of packaging waste is a monumental problem, and the plastic debris stemming from improper management poses a massive threat to our ecosystems; filling our oceans and poisoning wildlife.
As customers become increasingly aware of this mounting problem, companies are coming under pressure to adopt packaging that is both alluring and, more importantly, environmentally sustainable.
The harmful effects of plastic pollution have been well publicised – so much so that consumer awareness regarding the negative environmental impact of plastic packaging is practically universal. This is evident in current market trends, with consumers increasingly favouring sustainable packaging and placing pressure on brands that don’t utilise it. The time when brands could simply say “we’re not in the waste business” and escape scrutiny is therefore a distant memory.
Metallised papers offer dramatic benefits when compared with foil and metallic inks, reducing solid waste and the carbon footprint of packaging in general
As a result, brands the world over face a conflict of priorities that can only be reconciled through sustainable packaging. Indeed, the market for sustainable offerings is steadily gaining pace, driven largely by consumer demand but also bolstered by government legislation around the world. What’s more, certain brands have become leaders on the issue, introducing sustainable packaging or implementing system-wide recycling programmes.
We do, however, notice big regional differences. Although it is often believed that consumers are ‘greener’ in the EU than in the US, we have noticed a greater demand for our sustainable products in the latter. It seems US consumers, unlike their EU counterparts, are more successful in actively pushing brands to switch to environmentally friendly packaging.
Here at AR Metallizing, we have developed a 100 percent paperboard product with a distinctive metallic finish and outstanding technical capabilities: SilberBoard. All five types of SilberBoard are recyclable and completely free from plastic, offering an environmentally friendly alternative to laminated metallised polyester films.
These metallised papers are now being used in the production of functional, cosmetic, barrier, labelling and promotional packaging for major brands across the globe. Metallised papers offer dramatic benefits when compared with foil and metallic inks, reducing a country’s solid waste and the carbon footprint of packaging in general.
The environmental strategies and practices of AR Metallizing are at the core of the company; we recognise the importance of sustainability, as well as the functional and aesthetical importance of packaging in consumer purchasing habits. Ultimately, we are driven by the belief that humankind’s ecological footprint must be reduced.
This was the inspiration behind our market-changing innovation SilberBoard, which leverages a process called ‘metallised vacuum vaporisation’ to cover paper with a microscopic layer of metal that safely evaporates into nature. Consequently, SilberBoard enables premium brands to maintain their trusted look, while also providing an environmentally friendly package that eliminates the need for plastic films.
SilberBoard has been recognised by the packaging industry, state regulatory authorities and customers for meeting environmental requirements. This has helped AR Metallizing move up the value chain, and has seen our list of clients grow exponentially. Our innovation proves that greater sustainability in the packaging industry is possible, and that making a small change can yield phenomenal results.