The congress was the perfect platform to showcase the latest innovations launched by the paper sack industry and also to review the huge technological developments which have been made by paper sack manufacturers and their suppliers over the past 20 years. The technology inside the paper sack has evolved tremendously as regards factors such as moisture protection, cleanliness and weight reduction, driven by a parallel evolution in its main raw material, sack kraft paper, which today shows improvements of 45% in strength and nearly 30% in porosity.
The industry also launched its 10-year road map at the congress in Barcelona. This contains ambitious targets which the federation's members have to reach by 2025. These targets include innovations to meet user needs and communicating the sustainability benefits of kraft paper and paper sacks, which are sourced from carefully managed forests. The aim is to ensure that these advantages are understood and valued by potential users of paper sacks.
EUROSAC's Annual Congress is also the time when the federation recognises its members' efforts in innovation by granting the EUROSAC Grand Prix Award.
Four entries were presented this year, all of them showing the dynamism of the paper sack industry in developing sustainable paper packaging solutions to meet specific customers' demands. The four entries came from:
- BillerudKorsnäs with its D-Sack® for cement sacks, a paper sack which can entirely be put into the cement mixer where it breaks up and integrates its components with the concrete or mortar without negatively affecting the quality. Waste is thus eliminated, cement utilization improved and workers' health and safety is improved.
- dy-pack with its SAFEdy showerproof sack, a paper sack providing protection against moisture, air and gas penetration and that can be stored outside, even in wet conditions. The solution developed consists in a coated paper bag with a new de-aeration concept. It is suitable for existing paper sack filling machines.
- Mondi Industrial Bags with its HYBRIDPRO for building materials, a water-resistant paper-based sack where the traditional sack construction is turned around to have the PE layer as an outer ply. Thus the sack provides long-lasting protection to rain, while being compatible with traditional paper sack high-speed filling equipment.
- Saccarta with its Window Bag created for animal feed, a paper sack with just a window made of plastic to see inside the sack. The high porosity paper lets the product breathe, thus avoiding mould and germination, without however letting insects or other biological contaminants enter the sack.
The winner was the SAFEdy showerproof, developed by the German paper sack manufacturer dy-pack. The jury praised the technical solution developed to facilitate the de-aeration of the sack while still protecting the contents.
EUROSAC is the European federation of multiwall paper sack manufacturers. The federation represents over 75% of European paper sack manufacturers. Its members operate in 20 different countries. They produce more than 5 billion paper sacks per year, representing 650,000 tonnes of paper converted in 60 plants. Sack manufacturers from all continents and bag manufacturers also contribute to the federation as corresponding members, and more than 20 suppliers (paper, film, machine or glue manufacturers) are registered as associate members.