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Outlook 2023: Sustainability trends to bolster use of cardboard packaging

Source:FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal     Date:2023-01-25
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Interview by Marijovic Gonzalez

ETPACK is among three brands under Groupe Emballage Technologies, which also includes SERMATEC and PACTISOUD. Based in France, these companies focus on the design and manufacture of packaging lines for the food industry. Their equipment have been installed in companies across the globe including Lotte, Danone, Mondelez, Thai Union, and Twinings.


Specialising in packaging machinery for cardboard boxes (solid board and corrugated boards), ETPACK offers end load cartoners, wraparound cardboard sleevers, conveyors, top load forming and closing machines, wraparound case packers as well as robotic palletising.


The company has been expanding its reach in Southeast Asia, according to Agnès Bosquillon de Jarcy, export manager at ETPACK. The demand for cardboard packaging products will grow in the region as more consumers require sustainable packaging, she told FoodPacific Manufacturing Journal.  

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Agnès Bosquillon de Jarcy, export manager, ETPACK

Tell us more about ETPACK and your growth path into Southeast Asia.

ETPACK is mainly focused on food rather than beverage, and our expertise lies in cardboard mechanisation.


We have projects moving forward in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, where AUMPACK Inc. represents us. Thanks to our valued partners in the region, and driven by the post-COVID economic growth rebound, we would say that forecast is better than the last year.  


But it is also a complicated situation, as some companies in Asia are producing for European/American countries, costs of freights, inflation, costs of cardboard packaging, issues with cardboard supplying from carton makers could have impact on volume of production or investments of new projects.


What can you tell us about the packaging sector today? What is your forecast?

When we talk to designers and marketing departments, as well as manufacturers and importers in the food industry, they tell us they are looking for different solutions to replace plastic trays, plastic bags, and flow-wrap products. Carton makers as well are looking for different new trends of sustainable packaging.  Having said that, we see more and more expectations about sustainable packaging solutions.


Which opportunities do you see for your company? Are there products in development?

We see opportunities created by the ban in plastic use, for example in 2028 for Thailand – in different areas of business, like fruits and vegetables, convenience food, meat, frozen foods…


That’s the reason why we are developing new machines, for example, to be able to form cardboard tray by locking. With this kind of mechanism, we are getting rid of glue. This tray that can be used in freezer or microwave, can have a liner put by thermoforming machine downstream using our ETL70 box former. Then we have a partnership with some carton makers to develop a self-sealing coating on cardboard flanges to put a transparent lid on top of the tray. The liner can be removed and cardboard tray can be recycled. The user can maximize visibility of the products inside the tray with a clear lid.


We have been manufacturing standard cardboard packaging machines for the last 35 years so we have a strong expertise, of course, and we are also listening to customers’ expectations to develop new machines, or add new modules to standard machines to meet new expectations of consumers.


Opportunities for machinery are also created by shortages of manpower, increased by the COVID situation, involving higher requests for pick & place, cobot palletising etc, that we integrate into our end of line projects to propose complete solutions.


Do you see optimism in the Southeast Asian food/beverage industry and do you think this will translate into capital expansion?

Yes, we are quite optimistic. Southeast Asia is a very dynamic area, with a lot of opportunities, a growing population, and the expansion of middle-class consumers looking for more premium packaged products as well as feeling concerned about green issues.

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