The Koehler Paper Group enjoys a worldwide reputation as a manufacturer of high-tech and speciality paper for customers from a wide range of sectors. Thanks to production line 8, its new state-of-the-art plant that has just become operational, Koehler has now successfully tapped the market for flexible packaging paper. interviewed Yevgen Zolotkovski, head of sales for flexible packaging paper at Koehler.

What are the most recent innovations in your one-side coated packaging paper?

Yevgen Zolotkowski: In Koehler NexCoat®, we developed a product range of paper coated on one side, suitable for a wide variety of applications. Koehler NexCoat® Lid is the latest addition to this portfolio. The specifications of this kraft paper are such that it can be used as part of a lid, for example in dairy products such as yoghurt. This paper grade is intended for lamination with PET film and heat-sealable lacquer coating. This makes it extremely tear and burst resistant, which is essential in the food sector, and in this case, can be used in place of aluminium. Koehler NexCoat® Lid has a high level of smoothness, with a good degree of gloss, which ensures a high-quality look and feel.

Our second addition in the Koehler NexCoat® paper range is Koehler NexCoat® M. This base paper is ideally suited to metallisation. Our customers use it for labelling drinks or for gift wrap. It can also be laminated and printed flawlessly. All of them are approved for direct contact with food.

How do you see the market developing for one-side coated paper in the packaging sector in the short and medium term?

The concept of developing sustainable packaging is gaining pace among brand owners. Innovative, environmentally friendly solutions are now the order of the day, and paper is playing a vital role as the most sustainable packaging material.

We have invested around €300m in a new production line especially for manufacturing packaging paper coated on one side, and expect positive growth for one-side coated paper, both with or without additional functions and barriers.

Please can you explain to us how Koehler’s technology supports the packaging industry in this regard?

The packaging industry must follow consumer demand for greater sustainability. This means more than just using paper in preference to plastic. The paper itself must also meet sustainability criteria. Therefore, our packaging paper is made without the use of optical brighteners. This protects the environment and conserves natural resources. The packaging industry doesn’t have to forgo an immaculate appearance for this to be the case, because we can call upon our expertise in paper production and the coating process.

“We invested around €300m in a new production line for manufacturing packaging paper coated on one side.”

Moreover, Koehler has already been committed to sustainability for generations. We are operating in a field in which we have amassed a breadth and diversity of experience and carried out pioneering work. Our production processes and raw material procurement are carried out with the maximum level of consideration to the sustainability aspect.

What are the international trends in the area of one-side coated packaging paper?

There is currently a worldwide increase in demand for one-side coated paper that is free from optical brighteners and a trend of delivering same results with less material. We did, of course, have this development in mind when we designed our new production line.

What are the decisive criteria when a customer chooses your paper?

Our paper has excellent properties when it comes to further processing. It is particularly suitable for rotogravure and flexo printing, also because it shows the required degree of sustainable whiteness.

Depending on the paper variety, we have a wide range of grammages from 43gsm and 45gsm (Koehler NexCoat® Lid), as well as 70gsm, 80gsm and 90gsm (Koehler NexCoat® M).