DS Smith's Sustainable Packaging Innovation with Nafici

DS Smith's collaboration with Nafici to create sustainable packaging using 'second harvest' materials. Learn how this innovative approach contributes to the circular economy.

DS Smith's Sustainable Packaging Innovation with Nafici

DS Smith, the global leader in sustainable packaging solutions, has launched a new initiative in collaboration with the environmental research start-up Nafici, as announced in a press release.

According to the statement, Nafici Environmental Research (NER), a British company, has developed a process to transform agricultural waste into pulp for paper manufacturing with reinforcing properties. "This is the latest development in DS Smith's Now & Next sustainability strategy, launched last year, reflecting the company's ongoing investment in research and development," states the release.

As part of its R&D plan, with an allocated budget of £100 million, DS Smith is testing how alternative fibers can be used as raw materials in paper and packaging products. The program assesses the potential of fibers (strength, recyclability, properties, scalability, and cost) and the ability of various materials to replace plastic, diversifying the sources used in packaging. The note highlights that several fibers, such as grass, miscanthus, straw, sorghum, and most recently, algae, have already been analyzed.

DS Smith is utilizing its state-of-the-art research and innovation center, "R8," in Kent, UK, to explore how cellulose created by Nafici from previously unwanted products can be used to manufacture sustainable packaging. "DS Smith is thus responding to the demand from companies looking to adopt a more circular approach in their supply chains," the release notes.

According to DS Smith's R&D team, 'second harvest' materials like straw and grains from beer producers have the potential to save up to 10% of virgin fibers used in the paper manufacturing process, making them an important and viable means to complement traditional sources.

Nick Thompson, Materials Development Director at DS Smith, commented on the pioneering work the company is undertaking: "DS Smith has gained a reputation for being at the forefront of innovation in recycling aspects of its operations, demonstrated in part by the investment in the R&D Fibre & Paper Development Lab (based in Kemsley Mill, UK) and our ongoing partnership with Nafici."

"Our sustainability strategy Now & Next drives us to be leaders in supporting the transition to a circular economy, so working with clients and partners across the supply chain to keep materials in use for as long as possible is an important part of this drive," Thompson added.

Regarding the partnership between NER and DS Smith, Florence Miremadi-Nafici, co-founder and CEO of NER, stated: "Our work with DS Smith is crucial to addressing sustainability challenges associated with the growing demand for packaging. Through this pilot program, we hope to demonstrate that alternative fibers, especially 'second harvest' materials, can and will play a significant role in the future of sustainable packaging."


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Keywords

DS Smith , sustainable packaging , Nafici , environmental research , circular economy

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