Koehler Develops Alternatives To Plastic
How can we deal with our mountains of garbage? This topic is currently of increasing concern. Countless tons of plastic waste end up in our oceans every year. Marine currents create garbage islands that can grow to the size of Central Europe.
Only a small part of the plastic waste generated in Germany is recycled. Most of it is incinerated to create energy or ends up in landfills. Due to the increasing visibility of these topics, the use and handling of plastics in particular are becoming increasingly under the spotlight. Koehler is making a contribution to countering this global challenge. To help accelerate the global movement towards sustainable and responsible packaging solutions, the company is working on the development of barrier paper with functional surfaces.
The aim is to produce barriers for packaging that can currently only be provided by plastics or composites. At the same time, this packaging paper should be recyclable in the paper cycle in order to make use of an already existing and functioning circular flow: more than 75 percent of the paper waste generated in Germany is recycled.
Of particular note in this regard is the Green Coating Collaboration, which Koehler runs together with the TU Darmstadt. This unique research community supports Koehler in developing functional surfaces for sustainable packaging solutions for all industries. Koehler is also investing over 300 million euros in a new production facility at Kehl, Germany.
At Koehler, the concept of sustainability plays an important role across all product lines. This is not only due to the fact that consumers now attach great importance to acting sustainably. At Koehler the topic is also part of the corporate strategy, coupled with the pursuit of continuous improvement and innovation.
The Koehler Paper Group is not only one of the world’s leading manufacturers of special paper. With its new PM 8 paper machine, it is also active in the area of paper for flexible packaging. The goal is to replace non-recyclable plastic with recyclable paper. At its four locations, Koehler’s 1,800 employees produce more than 500,000 tons of various special paper, while at the same time operating a range of power plants so that, in the medium term, the energy for paper manufacturing can be derived 100 percent from renewable sources. The company has a large research and development department, whose achievements include the development of the first thermal paper approved for contact with food. One of its current challenges is to develop functional surfaces whose barrier properties will enable them to replace plastic in packaging.