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PAPTIC – The Good Conscience Alternative

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PAPTIC (PAPTIC – The Good Conscience Alternative)

Reporting period: 2016-11-01 to 2017-10-31

The main objective of the project is to revolutionise the global carrier bag and flexible packaging industries by producing the world’s first environmentally friendly and economically viable alternative to plastic bags, meeting the needs of retail companies, brand owners and consumers.
Below you will find specific objectives to be met in order to achieve the bigger goals.
• Set up a prototype PAPTIC® material production line with commercial capacity of 20 000 tons / year, which is necessary for producing >500 million PAPTIC bags annually.
• Increase renewable content of PAPTIC® bags to at least 85% by integrating new renewable raw materials.
• Improve the mechanical performance of the material to enter new market segments.
• Improve the PAPTIC® production process to further increase energy efficiency by 30% and reduce water consumption by 25% compared to the current process.
• Certify the material according to EU and national legislation in target markets (initially Germany, UK, and France).
• Sign the first 12 commercial contracts for delivering 100 million PAPTIC@ bags.
Work Package 1
During the reporting period, an extensive analysis of the prototype technical and economic concept was carried out by comparing the alternatives between building a brownfield (new machine in old hall, original plan) vs rebuilding an old machine (rebuilt old machine in old hall, comparison). Originally the goal of PAPTIC project was to design a completely new PAPTIC prototype line. However, since the rebuilding of an old machine is more cost-efficient, helps to save in operating costs and improves success probability, we decided to choose the latter. Negotiations with a strategic industrial partner for the location of the production line at a paper mill location have been carried out and will be finalized by end of 2017.

Work Package 2
During the reporting period, Paptic has developed further improvements to PAPTIC material, which has reached over 85% renewable content and are biodegradable and compostable (industrial composting) material. Also these products have been approved to be recyclable with cardboard recycling process (PTS, Papier Technische Stiftung, Germany). The results are already at the target level set for the PAPTIC project, but work will be continued further towards the goal of 100% renewable PAPTIC product.

Work Package 3
During the reporting period, by contacting numerous potential end-user and supply chain customers, we have increased the knowledge on market demands and trends. We have found partners from the packaging design and sourcing companies in order to get the attention of local and global brands. The activity in the customer interface has been doubled by increasing the number of sales personnel, by sending Paptic samples and paying more attention on printed communication. New website content has already been defined and by the end of 2017 there will be “PAPTIC blog” launched.
Paptic representatives have attended several trade shows – we had our own stand in the Luxepack exhibition in Monaco in October and in Empack packaging expo in Helsinki.
Good publicity has also been gained via participation in different types of sustainability-related competitions and we have been nominated for example as the “Biobased product of the Year 2017” in May at the Bio-based World Congress.
During the reporting period, Paptic has started an update of Paptic IPR-strategy. We also strengthened our patent portofolio by filling in national patent applications concerning our core patent FI20146033 (WO2016083667 Fiber sheets and structures comprising fiber sheets). We also filled in PCT-applications from the application FI20165259 (WO2017162927 Method of producing a fibrous web containing natural and synthetic fibres) and responded to the injunctions of two patent applications; FI20165259 Method of producing fibrous web containing natural and synthetis fibers and FI20165429 Method to produce a fiber sheet. During the reporting period, six invention disclosures have been filed in.

Work Package 4
During the reporting period, we made two amendment requests, since there were a few circumstances that will prolong the PAPTIC project by additional 6 months. The second amendment involved also changes in subcontractors following the best value for money principle. However by the end of M12, we have submitted deliverables D1.1 and D1.2 and achieved MS1 as foreseen in Annex I to the Grant Agreement. All activities have been well on track and all of the first period tasks have been fulfilled on time.
The Paptic® upscaling plan has been updated during the project. The current plan involves rebuilding of an existing paper machine to PAPTIC technology and planning inauguration in Q2-2019. The prototype line will employ in total approximately 30 persons in production and 15 persons in management positions. In addition, the 20 000 tns of PAPTIC material produced at the prototype line will create significant direct and indirect societal implications to the up- and downstream value chain. For example the 20 000 tns of PAPTIC corresponds to full annual converting capacity of more than 15 carrier bag converting lines, employing directly more than 30 people.
Plastic waste accumulation in the oceans is a global environmental challenge that Paptic® is addressing by its renewable and degradable alternative packaging material. The reusability of Paptic bags means that on Paptic bag can replace 5-20 single used plastic bags. Thus the impact of Paptic to keep the oceans plastic-free is much higher than for example replacing plastic with single-use paper bags. During the project a consumer study was done showing that the consumers are more willing to reuse Paptic bags than paper or plastic bags.
An example of PAPTIC bag