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James Cropper Unveils "Sustainable Alternative to Plastic"

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James Cropper Plc, U.K., has launched a new, renewable, and recyclable molded packaging product that is a "sustainable alternative to plastic." The bespoke, design-engineered, molded paper packaging product developed by the group’s new business—James Cropper 3D Products—challenges plastic in terms of color, quality, and performance, and will add value for brand owners, designers, and other customers—going  above and beyond the capabilities of any other molded fiber packaging, the company said. It is made from entirely renewable materials and consumers can recycle it with household paper. 

James Cropper 3D Products (JC3DP), based in Burneside, Cumbria, will showcase the product at Packaging Innovations 2016, at Olympia London, on Sept. 14-15, 2015. Demonstrators showing some of the capabilities of the JC3DP product will be on display at the company’s stand at the event. 

Chief Technology Officer Patrick Willink said that JC3DP can deliver bespoke quality on a large scale, and significantly add value to product packaging. He said it was the first molded fiber product to offer an improved, sustainable alternative to plastic in many packaging applications. This includes packaging for personal care products, e-retail, giftware, consumer electronics, homeware, and a raft of other sectors. 

Willink said that "we know that if brands are to move beyond the need for plastic in packaging, sustainable alternatives have to add value and can’t compromise on color, quality, or performance. We have to open up new opportunities for design innovation so that the many challenges of replacing plastic can be overcome. Our molded paper packaging is the first step in this next generation. 

"Paper has a timeless sense of quality that’s worlds away from the multisensory disappointments of plastic. Of course, molded fiber products are in limited use already. But these products have nowhere near the versatility in color and design that we are able to produce. The switch from using plastic to our molded paper packaging can also be made with relative ease, which means it is really challenging plastic as the go-to product for packaging.

"JC3DP products have the ability to outperform plastic in terms of color quality and consistency, which is vital when building brand association and brand experience, while our design-engineered approach enables new progress in packaging design performance. 

"Features such as embossing have greater definition and the cure-in-the-mold production process allows us to combine precise pressure and temperature controls with different fiber blends to create textures and finishes that cannot be achieved with plastic. 

"At the same time, we can create molded packaging with uniform wall thickness and create holes with ease--both of which are extremely difficult to achieve in plastic and which add significant benefits and value for our customers," Willink explained.

JC3DP is already working with a number of blue chip companies. Its service is designed to make the bespoke product available at relatively low minimum order quantities (MOQ), which will create greater opportunities for customers to adapt and change to meet their specific needs. The product is made using 100% Renewable Natural Fibers from sustainably managed forests.
Willink added that "the production and disposal of plastic is one of the key environmental problems facing the packaging industry today. Not only does JC3DP packaging come from truly sustainable sources, but can also be recycled just like regular paper. We are really proud to have developed an innovation that will help the environment, but is also a great sustainability story that will capture the imagination of consumers.

"Sustainable innovation is one of the major focuses of everything we do at James Cropper and we like to set our sights high. We have a proven record of success when it comes to daunting technical challenges and innovative use of materials. This is why we believe JC3DP is a sustainable alternative to plastic in packaging,"Willink concluded. 

JC3DP is one of three divisions of James Cropper Plc, which has been operating from its base near the Lake District for more than 170 years. The new range of products have been in development for two years.

More information is available by emailing Giles Brown


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