Humanity faces a variety of global challenges and one of them involves the question: what are the packaging materials of the future? A worldwide rethink is underway in this regard, towards sustainable and responsible packaging solutions.

In the 210 years of the company’s history, Koehler has become established in the market as the provider of a variety of specialty paper qualities and is well known for its high-quality and innovative strength. The company is now entering the market for flexible packaging paper and intends to make a name for itself there with sustainable products. Sustainability is of great importance at Koehler not just because of the current mood in society. It is a part of Koehler’s corporate strategy and plays a significant role across every division.

Coated and uncoated paper for flexible packaging

Koehler will be offering one-side coated paper as well as uncoated paper made of 100% virgin fibre pulp. The concept of sustainability plays an important role at Koehler. For example, no optical brighteners are used in the Koehler NexFlex product line. The natural whiteness of the paper is highlighted instead.

The product line is divided into the following categories: Koehler NexCoat for one-side coated paper, Koehler NexPure for uncoated and natural paper and Koehler NexPlus for innovative barrier paper. The paper has one thing in common: consistently high quality coupled with excellent dimensional stability. These are the optimum preconditions for stable further processing. To achieve this, Koehler invested more than €300m in a new paper machine at its plant in Kehl that is specifically designed for flexible packaging paper. At the heart of this paper machine lies the world’s biggest Yankee dryer. The appropriate smoothness is achieved thanks to the long dwell time of the paper surface under the dryer. This gentle drying process also gives the paper good dimensional stability.

In the Koehler NexCoat sector, Koehler will be offering coated paper from 40 to 110 grams per square meter. The applications range from bags, cones and sachets for muesli bars or confectionery products, flour bags and soup sachets, through to yogurt lids and yogurt banderoles. Raw metalisation paper is also included. The paper is excellent for further processing and it boasts outstanding print quality in both rotogravure and flexographic printing.

Koehler NexPure offers the special feel provided only by natural paper. It is machine finished on one side, making it perfect for further processing. It is used in particular in the confectionery sector, but also for teabag overpacks, which can be crimped. It is also suitable for all common hot and cold seal adhesive applications. Koehler NexPure is available in the range from 22 to 70 grams per square meter.

Barrier paper as alternative to plastic

In addition to standard paper for flexible packaging, Koehler also presents its state of development of the innovative and sustainable barrier paper of the product line Koehler NexPlus. This paper is finished with a functional coating, which provides a barrier against grease, water vapour, odours, oxygen and or MOSH / MOAH (mineral oil vapor depositions from printing inks). At the same time the paper can be heat-sealable. The goal is to replace plastic in packaging with this paper wherever possible and appropriate.

It thus provides packaging manufacturers with the opportunity to more sustainably position themselves and to make their contribution to meeting society’s challenges. Because the major advantage of this paper is that paper is produced from renewable raw materials and can be fed into the paper recycling process, which has long been established and accepted by the public. The recycling rate for paper in Europe is far higher than 70%. Further product characteristics include good strength and consistently high quality, which keep the finishing processes stable.

The paper with barrier properties can be used to produce bags, packaging, flow packs and wrappers, for example for powdered soups and puddings, flour, tea, coffee and dry pet food. The grammages range between 50 and 100 gsm, depending on requirements and application.

Making sustainability tangible with recycled paper

Recycled paper from Koehler made of 100% top-quality secondary fiber materials are particularly suitable for the high-quality packaging of exclusive products in segments such as perfumery or electronics. Thanks to their natural feel, their strong colours and their excellent processing properties, they provide a good sensation in the long term. This is underlined by the ‘Blue Angel’ eco-label, which is awarded to these products.

Packaging paper with a sophisticated touch

Koehler’s fine paper made of pure virgin fibre pulp is also suitable for high-quality packaging for the cosmetics, perfumery and electronics sectors. The paper is notable for its high quality and the resulting excellent printing outcomes. Ivory board quality is even suitable for direct food contact. When uncoated, the fine paper also boasts a natural feel and look. Furthermore, the paper can be embossed in a variety of ways, making it even more interesting in tactile and visual terms and giving the products a touch of sophistication.