Paper Wrap: how Sofidel reinvented tissue paper packaging
Daniele Checcacci – TMC Sales & Marketing Director
The Sofidel Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of tissue paper for hygienic and domestic use (particularly well-known for its Regina brand), has developed a sustainable growth strategy that is completely in line with “building an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for people and planet”, according to the United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), set to be achieved in 2030.
For more than a decade, Sofidel has been committed to reducing its environmental footprint and, at the same time, increasing production efficiency.
This commitment has led the company to:
reduce direct emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere by 18.3% (reduction in carbon intensity, 2009-2018), by investing about 100 million euros in cogeneration plants and energy production from renewable sources (photovoltaic and hydroelectric), biomass power plants and energy efficiency over ten years (2009 – 2018);
source 100% pulp certified by independent third parties with forest certification schemes (FSC®, FSC Controlled Wood, SFI®, PEFC™);
safeguard water resources, limiting its consumption in production processes. The amount of water that enters the production processes is distinctly lower than the industry benchmark: 7.1 l/kg vs. 15–25 l/kg. Additionally, Sofidel has decided to help fight pollution from plastics, a new contribution towards environmental sustainability, also aimed at satisfying the growing consumer demand for environmental awareness.
More specifically, the Group has set itself the goal of achieving a 50% reduction in the use of conventional plastic in its production by 2030 (compared to 2013). This is equivalent to the elimination of over 11,000 tonnes of plastic released onto the market every year.
This goal is pursued through:
a reduction in the thickness of the polyethylene film used in the production process;
the introduction of new kraft paper packaging in place of or alongside existing products;
the progressive use, in some markets, of recycled plastics or bioplastics.
Sofidel has been working with TMC, a leading company offering the most innovative solutions to handle and solve the complexities related to the packaging and handling of tissue and personal care products, to find viable solutions to allow the replacement of the polyethylene packaging with a new packaging made of paper.
Through a joint effort in machinery and materials development, TMC and Sofidel have been able to design and manufacture a new sustainable and recyclable packaging by using kraft paper – a plant-based material that is renewable and easy to recycle.
The first paper-wrapped products hit European supermarket shelves in 2019 in Italy, the UK, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Hungary and Romania.
The Sofidel Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of paper for hygienic and domestic use. Established in 1966, the Group has subsidiaries in 13 countries – Italy, Spain, the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Hungary, Greece, Romania, Turkey and the USA – with more than 6,000 employees, net sales of 1,706 million Euros (2018) and a production capacity of over one million tonnes per year (1,308,000 tonnes in 2018). “Regina”, its most well-known brand, is present on almost all reference markets. Other brands include: Softis, Le Trèfle, Sopalin, Thirst Pockets, KittenSoft, Nalys, Cosynel, Lycke, Nicky and Papernet. A member of the UN Global Compact and the international WWF Climate Savers programme, the Sofidel Group considers sustainability a strategic growth factor and is committed to promoting socially and environmentally responsible development.