The Sneek manufacturing facility expansion involves an estimated investment of $22m. Credit: Graphic Packaging International.
Graphic Packaging International (GPI) is headquartered in Atlanta, US. Credit: Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency.
The Sneek facility will produce the company’s new KeelClip™ solution for food and beverage multipacks. Credit: Graphic Packaging International.
GPI received the Masternaut Gold Fleet award in August 2019. Credit: Graphic Packaging International.

Graphic Packaging International (GPI) has expanded its manufacturing facility in Sneek, the Netherlands, to meet the rising demand for sustainable packaging.

The expansion project was carried out for two years and doubled the facility’s production capacity through the installation of a new printing press.

The company invested €20m ($22m) into the expansion. The investment is expected to help increase GIP’s sales capacity by $40m to support conversions from plastic to paperboard.

Under its first phase, the programme involved the extension of the 5,000m² building at the site. A second phase will see the addition of further equipment.

Graphic Packaging International packaging plant location

The Sneek facility is located at Steenhouwersstraat 4 in the city of Sneek in the province of Friesland.

The Sneek production facility houses a new advanced machinery system. As one of GPI’s four global innovation centres, the site combines packaging expertise with innovative design ideas and technologies.

Graphic Packaging International packaging plant expansion details

Two machines at the existing facility were replaced by a new 11-colour press, thereby increasing the annual capacity and printing speed while improving the plant’s turnaround times.

The switch from the rotogravure presses to the new flexographic press will meet changing consumer and market needs. A new folder-glueing line will be introduced at the plant, increasing the number of lines from five to six.

The company will undertake phase two expansion in 2020, including the installation of two new die-cutting machines and new solar panels to deliver renewable energy for the facility.

Project benefits

The expansion will enable the facility to pursue new sustainable packaging solutions.

The new printing press is expected to create a positive impact on the environmental profile of the Sneek site, meanwhile, the usage of water-based inks aligns with customers who prefer ink technology.

In total, the expansion project will create more than 50 jobs. The plant will manufacture a new sustainable solution for paperboard packaging and contribute towards reducing its environmental footprint.

Details of Graphic Packaging International’s facility in Sneek

The facility produces folding carton packaging for companies in the European beverage market. The converting plant has been supplying folding cartons for the global soft drink and beer markets since 1946. It specialises in innovative packaging solutions covering a range of basket carriers and cartons.

The Sneek facility currently employs 120 personnel and offers innovative packaging solutions and ideas to cater to the changing demands of consumers.

Graphic Packaging International product portfolio

The products and packaging solutions offered by the company include folding cartons, foodservice packaging, strength packaging, cooking solutions, machinery systems and paperboard.

The offering in the standard folding carton range includes seal end cartons, tray-style cartons, and tuck style cartons.

“The company will undertake phase two expansion in 2020, including the installation of two new die-cutting machines and new solar panels to deliver renewable energy for the facility.”

Foodservice packaging products include food packaging containers and lids, cups and lids for hot and cold beverages, folding cartons, and ecotainer™ compostable packaging. The strength packaging category offers products such as litho-laminated corrugated boxes, heavyweight folding cartons, and laminated folding cartons.

The Sneek site will produce the majority of the new KeelClip™ paperboard packaging solution for food and beverage multipacks. KeelClip™ is a paper fastener designed to replace plastic rings, tops and shrink wrap. The company’s product portfolio emphasises the use of recycled and renewable materials.

In February 2020, GPI launched a new line of PaperSeal™ trays based on 80%-90% paperboard and 10%-20% film. The new innovation is proposed as a barrier-lined paperboard alternative for modified atmosphere (MAP) and vacuum skin packaging (VSP) plastic trays.

Marketing commentary on Graphic Packaging International

Graphic Packaging International is a subsidiary of Graphic Packaging Holding Company. The company supplies paper-based packaging solutions to firms in food, beverage, foodservice, and other consumer goods industries. Its customers include some of the world’s most recognised brands.

Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, US, GPI operates 14 converting sites across Europe. The Fortune 500 firm is one of the biggest carton manufacturers in the US and Europe.

In August 2019, the packaging firm was awarded the Masternaut Gold Fleet award for the reduction of its CO2 emissions.

It aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15%, energy consumption by 15%, water usage by 15%, and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) by 40%. The company intends to achieve these goals along with making its products 100% recyclable by 2025.

In February 2020, GPI agreed to purchase Greif’s consumer packaging group business in a transaction valued at approximately $85m.