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PAPTIC – The Good Conscience Alternative

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PAPTIC (PAPTIC – The Good Conscience Alternative)

Berichtszeitraum: 2017-11-01 bis 2019-04-30

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.

In order to reach the overall objective, several specific objectives have to be met:
• Set up a prototype PAPTIC® material production line with commercial capacity of 10 000 tons / year, which is necessary for producing 400 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 second period we improved/amended the concept for scale-up (from brownfield to conversion of operating a paper mill through acquisition). Current the investment financing negotiations are on-going, but we aim to finalise it during summer 2019. Changing the concept of course meant a delay in reaching the project goals but in a long-term view, we believe that the change was for the best and we can achieve even bigger goals than anticipated. The pre-engineering project for the re-build is also on-going and is finalized in June. The project is planned to be realized during 2019 and 2020, to reach annual capacity of over 40 000 tn / year (4x higher than original plan).
Many known companies have started collaborating with us and are now using PAPTIC® bags as a reusable alternative to their plastic and paper bags. These bags are examples from the application based on the production from our small pilot line and our subcontracting based manufacturing (developed also during the project to remediate the project delay from customer point of view).

Work Package 2
During the second period we demonstrated the energy efficiency and lower water consumption of the foam forming technology through trials at the existing pilot line and by out-source testing. 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 second year, we tested the recyclability of PAPTIC® material at PTS and WMU. PAPTIC® material has also been certified according to PEFC and FSC certificates. Both certificates cover the production, sales and marketing of PAPTIC® material.
With more resources in sales, marketing and business development the activity in customer interface has been doubled during the project. And thus we have sent hundreds of samples to customers and recently more attention on brochures and other printed communication has been paid. We have updated our website and launched the “PAPTIC blog”, which we have established to create more traffic to our site. We have had representatives in several trade shows and had our own stand in the Luxepack –exhibition in Monaco in October and in Empack packaging expo in Helsinki Finland. We have participated in different types of sustainability-related competitions and have been nominated for example as the “Biobased Product of the Year” in June at the Bio-based Live conference in Amsterdam by a jury of industrial experts. In addition, Paptic has been awarded by Biobased Conference, European Paper Recycling conference and ExpoLive organizations and events. We have started an update of Paptic IPR-strategy. Paptic patent portfolio has been strengthed by filing new patent applications and national patent applications and filing six invention disclosures.

Work Package 4
By the end of the second period, we have changed the scale-up concept to accommodate market and financing requirements. We submitted two amendments during the second year of the project and they were both approved. However, all dissemination and communication activities have been on track and most R&D has also been carried out as planned.
The Paptic® upscaling plan and concept has been updated during the project. By the end of the H2020 project, we are concentrating on converting an operating paper mill in Germany to foam technology. The plan is to start Paptic production at the mill in 2020 and to have the foam investment completed in Q4-2020. The whole investment budget is approx. 50 million euros.
The mill will employ in total approximately 50 persons in production and 30 persons in maintenance, support and management positions. In addition, the 40 000 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 40 000 tns of PAPTIC corresponds to full annual converting capacity of more than 40 carrier bag converting lines, employing directly more than 200 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.