January’s top news stories

5 February 2018 (Last Updated February 5th, 2018 15:10)

McDonald’s pledges to source all its packaging from recyclable materials by 2025 and WestRock closes in on $5bn takeover of KapStone. Packaging-Gateway.com wraps-up key headlines from January 2018.

McDonald’s pledges to source all its packaging from recyclable materials by 2025

Fast food giant McDonald’s launched a plan to phase out all its worldwide plastic packaging, in order to switch to renewable or recycled materials by 2025.

In a recent statement, the food retailer declared its determination to contribute to the sustainability of the environment as it claimed that an overwhelming amount of customers increasingly urged the company to adopt more eco-friendly solutions.

McDonald’s operates 37,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries that serve 69 million customers daily, who, according to chief supply chain and sustainability officer Francesca DeBiase: “Consistently tell us that packaging waste is the #1 environmental issue they would like us to address. Customers want our food to be hot, safe and high quality and of course our packaging plays a big role in that.”


WestRock closes in on $5bn takeover of KapStone

American corrugated packaging giant WestRock agreed to acquire smaller rival company KapStone Paper and Packaging Corp in a $4.9bn deal, including the assumption of KapStone’s net debt of $1.36bn.

The takeover is set to be completed by Q3 this year and is expected to generate revenues worth around $200m by the end of fiscal 2021.

Georgia-based WestRock is the No.2 packaging company in the US after International Paper. It recently acquired Multi Packaging Solutions International and sold its division that manufactures soap dispensers and perfume sprayers in order to focus on its paper and packaging ranges.


EU plans to make all plastic packaging recyclable by 2030

The European Commission adopted a new strategy on plastics as part of its plan to advance towards a more circular economy.

The initiative aims to make all plastic packaging in the EU market recyclable by 2030, as well as reduce the consumption of single-use plastics and restrict the intentional usage of microplastics.

The moves are expected to decrease plastic pollution in Europe, as well as encourage growth and innovation.


Metsä Board and Pro Carton partner for packaging design challenge

Global fibre paperboards manufacturer Metsä Board collaborated with the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard Manufacturers, Pro Carton, to support young packaging design talent and advance the development of sustainable packaging using renewable materials.

The collaboration includes Pro Carton’s Young Designers Award and Metsä Board’s Better with Less – Design Challenge.

Launched last November, the design challenge is a global packaging design competition that seeks to find new, environmentally friendly and functional packaging solutions for various types of consumer packages, including takeaway meals, e-commerce, wellness, cosmetics and dry food.


UK’s Smurfit Kappa opens new recycling plant in Malaga, Spain

UK-based corrugated packaging company Smurfit Kappa launched a new recycling plant in Malaga, Spain, in order to enhance its footprint in the region.

The move is also expected to strengthen the company’s recovered paper service in the area.

Through the plant, the company expects to process more than 30,000t of recovered paper a year.


Pregis to expand European operations following Easypack acquisition

US-based protective packaging materials and systems provider Pregis is looking to reinforce its network across Europe two years after taking over UK eco-friendly packaging company Easypack.

The 2016 acquisition offered the American company a chance expand its range of operations to the European continent, and Easypack recently announced its decision to trade as Pregis from this year.


SCGP Solutions acquires 68.3% stake in Malaysian packaging firm

SCG Packaging’s wholly owned subsidiary SCGP Solutions (Singapore) completed the MYR104.5m ($26.65m) acquisition of a 68.3% stake in Malaysian packaging firm Interpress Printers Sendirian Berhad (IPSB).

The remaining shares of IPSB were retained by the existing owners.

The acquisition is in line with SCG Packaging’s aim of becoming a total packaging solutions provider in ASEAN countries.


Macfarlane to offer customers ‘mixed reality’ packaging experience

UK protective packaging material distributor Macfarlane Packaging joined forces with American technology giant Microsoft to bring a ‘mixed reality’ experience to its customers.

The company is working to introduce to the market Microsoft’s HoloLens Technology mixed reality headsets, which, according to Macfarlane, will enhance the packaging solutions experience.

Thanks to mixed or augmented reality, which merges the real and virtual worlds, Macfarlane’s customers will be able to visualise new packaging concepts in a real-world environment where actual and digital objects co-exist and interact with each other.


Dow unveils new fully recyclable packaging solution in India

Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics (P&SP) unveiled a new formulation of polyethylene (PE) resins to create a fully recyclable PE packaging solution in India.

The new sustainable, all-PE laminate solution is expected to be used in flexible packaging applications.

According to the company, different polymers and additives within the existing flexible packaging solutions are not compatible during the recycling process and require complex processes to break down.


India approves mandatory jute packaging for foodgrains and sugar

The Indian Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) approved the use of mandatory jute packaging for foodgrains and sugar.

The Press Information Bureau of the Government of India stated that the CCEA extended the mandatory packaging regulations under the 1987 Jute Packaging Material (JPM) Act.

According to the regulations, 90% of food grains and 20% of sugar products must be compulsorily packed in jute bags.