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Suzano develops 100% plastic-free cupstock to increase market share

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Suzano develops 100% plastic-free cupstock to increase market share

January 08, 2019 - 13:00
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SAO PAULO, Jan. 8, 2019 (PPI Latin America) -Brazilian pulp and paper producer Suzano has started to offer in the Brazilian market a 100% biodegradable cupstock made from renewable sources, named Bluecup Bio. The company's paper unit director Leonardo Grimaldi toldPPI Latin Americathat Suzano spent two years with R&D to achieve the result. "This product has a giant growth opportunity in Brazil, as several companies are already looking for greener alternatives to substitute plastics. Our product hasn't a polyethylene barrier like regular cupstock and is also compostable, meaning that it can nurture the soil during its decomposition."

Grimaldi stated that Suzano believes that the Brazilian cupstock market has an enormous potential compared to its relatively small current consumption of 12,000 tonnes/yr. "Consumption of plastic cups still reaches up to 600,000 tonnes/yr in the country, while several institutions and companies are promoting initiatives to reduce use of plastic. Our focus is not only to serve current demand, but also be ready to serve the new demand that is coming."

On Dec. 26, wet-lease carrier Hi Fly made the first-ever jet-age passenger flight with not a single-use plastic item on board. The 'plastics-free' trial took off from Lisbon on its way to Natal in Brazil. Among the scores of single-use plastic items that have been replaced are: cups, spoons, salt and pepper shakers, sick bags, packaging for bedding, dishes, individual butter pots, soft drink bottles and toothbrushes. And among the many innovations presented to passengers on the flight, by the Hi Fly environmental experts, will be bamboo cutlery, an array of paper packaging, and containers that, once used, can be readily composted.

Until very recently, the Brazilian cupstock market was entirely based on imports, what according to sources limited development of a consuming market for this product. Since the end of 2017, several local players adapted equipment to locally manufacture cupstock, aiming to substitute imports and offer higher added-value products.

Besides Suzano, Ibema and Klabin are offering the product, and the latter is also developing a biodegradable product to be launched in early 2019. To differentiate from competitors in this market, Klabin has released a white regular cupstock and a second product with a brown paper layer.

Innovation.Suzano doesn't detail the component of its new Bluecup Bio, but said the technology was developed with a local Brazilian partner using domestic raw material. The company also doesn't disclose if the biodegradable barrier is forest-based or use other type of organic materials.

"The product is part of the neutral carbon footprint of the company, meaning that all exceeding carbon generated from its production is compensated by Suzano," Grimaldi said.

To reach the market, the executive added that samples were already distributed to the major converters installed in Brazil. "Clients of Suzano have access to our Suzano+ distribution centers in 24 locations across the country, allowing them to easily access the products at inventories with converted products. We also offer specialized team for technical support," the executive stated.