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BOBST and Huhtamaki: A Partnership of Pioneers That Has Fast-Tracked Progress in Sustainable Packaging

Sometimes in business, a partnership is formed where two company's values, missions and skillsets perfectly align and enable real progress. Such is the case with BOBST and Huhtamaki, who have joined forces with the aim of revolutionizing sustainable packaging.

Huhtamaki is a Finnish-based global player in the flexible packaging industry, which specializes in sustainable packaging solutions, and is committed to making packaging more circular. For BOBST, sustainability is an integral part of its industry vision to shape the future of the packaging world, and one of its four key pillars - along with digitalization, automation and connectivity.

Both companies realized many years ago that the global drive towards more sustainable packaging presented opportunities for innovative companies to pioneer new solutions that could have a major global impact. Solutions that are recyclable and economically viable, without compromising on their primary purpose of safeguarding the products within.

The two companies first joined forces when BOBST and its partners developed a high-barrier, paper-based, recycle-ready solution, which Huhtamaki validated by making it into a full customer ready solution on commercial scale equipment for the first time.

Since then, the partnership has gone from strength to strength, as the companies discovered how their mutual commitment to innovation in sustainability could expedite the development of new solutions.

Now, the collaboration has generated a broad product range, from base to maximum barrier level, able to replace current aluminum-foil structures. The range consists of fully recyclable solutions using metallization technology, in both mono PE and paper. Crucially, current recycling streams will be able to sort and recycle the new solutions.

The collaboration with BOBST has proven invaluable in fast-tracking the project. BOBST's competence centers - where customers can view, understand and test printing and converting solutions - have provided the perfect means to expedite the development of the project. The testing quickly provided assurance that the solutions are practically viable, and meet the needs of brand owners, converters, consumers and recyclers.

"BOBST and Huhtamaki share the same goals around sustainability, and we are delighted that our partnership and the use of our competence centers has helped to fast track this important project," said Nick Copeland, R&D Director at BOBST. "The new solutions will certainly meet demands for eco-friendly options in both plastic and paper, helping to lead the industry towards a more sustainable future."

The new product range of sustainable solutions - which will include ultra-high barrier PE and paper flexible packaging solutions - will be launched by Huhtamaki in 2024 and will be available across multiple markets.

"This project really highlights the benefits of collaboration in our industry," said Jonas Lindh, Head of Global Marketing & Strategic Business Development, Flexible Packaging at Huhtamaki. "More sustainable packaging is not a 'nice to have' option, it is an essential deliverable for society, and it is through partnerships with genuine innovators like BOBST that breakthroughs in this area are possible. We are excited to see the positive impact of these new solutions in the months and years ahead."

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