Grass corrugated cardboard

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Grass corrugated cardboard is the new sustainable trend in the packaging industry. Justifiably! As an alternative to plastic packaging and as a complement to existing corrugated cardboard products, grass corrugated cardboard is a packaging material perfectly suited to today’s still plastic-rich consumer world. Made 100 percent from grass paper, grass corrugated cardboard can be processed and printed in the same way as corrugated cardboard. Convince yourself!

Grass corrugated cardboard is currently a much discussed issue. Not only are packaging producers looking at the issue, food retailers such as Rewe and Penny are also pioneers in this field. For instance, plastic-based fruit trays for apples have already been replaced by sustainable trays made from grass corrugated cardboard. Yet that's not enough: Secondary placements made from grass corrugated cardboard are ideally suited for use with sustainable foodstuffs and products and also contribute to creating high-impact and holistic merchandise presentation displays.

Why grass corrugated cardboard?

Grass corrugated cardboard made from one hundred percent grass paper has the highest possible sustainability factor compared with conventional corrugated cardboard. Grass corrugated cardboard is made from grass pellets and waste paper. The ratio of the respective raw materials is 30:70.

It is of course also possible with grass corrugated cardboard to vary the paper compositions. Both waste-based fluting and testliner can be used in the flutes and in the inside liner. The benefit here is clear to see. Instead of only using cellulose for packaging, in future grass can be processed into ecological packaging. Whereas usual cellulose is obtained from trees that need several years to grow, the grass on the compensation areas is mown several times a year. In addition to greenhouse gases, energy and waste water, the technology also saves raw materials and has better ecological properties.

The grass comes from green spaces which were not previously used and are known as compensation areas. This usage generates additional income sources for farmers and also subsequently creates jobs in a region. The compensation areas are legally specified and non-previously used agricultural areas which have not been fertilised or chemically treated. Such grass areas are not only to be found in Germany, but also in Eastern Europe, South America and in Southern Africa which means that these green areas can be used for the production of grass paper and grass corrugated cardboard.
 Overall there are only small technical differences between the production process of grass paper and normal paper production. In contrast to the production of fresh fibre cellulose from wood fibres, no chemical “boiling process” is needed for grass paper. This is good for the environment and saves water and energy.

The increasing market demand from the trade and customers for alternative raw materials and sustainable packaging materials is turning grass corrugated cardboard into an important trend for the future. Here not only is the better eco-balance in relation to wood-based raw materials a factor, but advantageous marketing aspects such as the creation of a USP and the visual differentiation at the POS also contribute to the added-value of grass corrugated cardboard.

Packaging made from grass corrugated cardboard

Food packaging made from grass corrugated cardboard with the ISEGA-certification can be used for direct food contact. The combination of grass fresh fibres and recycled fibres enables direct contact with dry, non-greasy foodstuffs as well as with foodstuffs which should be peeled or washed before consumption.

Trays and cartons made from grass corrugated cardboard are used both as carry packs and also as merchandise presentation displays.
Thanks to their integrated stacking corners, trays made from grass corrugated cardboard can be placed on top of each other and individual products are protected. Not only are the savings in logistics costs a benefit, but so is the considerably easier handling for the trade. Corrugated cardboard trays, like packaging and displays, can be customised in their printing and as a result create a wide range of communications opportunities for sales promotion and brand presentation. Trays made from grass corrugated cardboard are used in many different industrial sectors from food and drinks to cosmetics, confectionery and electrical items. We will help you find the appropriate carton for every product!

The designs of cartons and trays made from grass corrugated cardboard can be standardised or customised by product.

Shelf-ready packaging (SRP) made from grass corrugated cardboard is optimised for transportation and for fast implementation and placement in the retail outlet. Shelf-ready packaging (SRP) is normally best defined by the following five requirements for the entire supply chain: Easy to identify, easy to open, easy to place, easy to sell and easy to dispose of.
Shelf-ready packaging made from grass corrugated cardboard is very versatile in its uses and is often seen in the food and FMCG sector.

Grass corrugated cardboard displays

Secondary placements are mobile incentive systems at the POS. However, sustainability is also an important aspect in displays, as well as for packaging. THIMM developed the first display made from grass corrugated cardboard and it can currently be seen in Bikini Berlin at FoodBuzz.
What is special about displays made from grass corrugated cardboard? Sustainable and vegan products from start-ups do not, at the outset, find a direct route to retail shelves. Therefore, via secondary placements in the form of pallet displays and floor-standing displays or even counter displays, the new products can be presented directly at the end of the shelf or near the till.

Grass corrugated cardboard can be used for different types of displays. In addition to pallet displays and floor-standing displays, counter displays are also possible options for secondary placements. Noticeable strengths of grass corrugated cardboard can be seen in the attractive fibre structure and the outstanding reproduction of the print colours. Digital printing is a winner here, primarily with print images with low surface coverage and it can also be used as a USP in designs.

Perfect in a double pack – grass corrugated cardboard and digital printing

Printing is possible on grass paper regardless of its condition (untreated or white-dyed). All printing procedures can be used. The specific structure of grass paper is particularly highlighted when colour is applied to the material. This also enables the structure of the paper to be identified which has an interesting and attention-grabbing effect.

Due to the specific haptic, colour and surface condition of grass paper, there are some specific framework conditions that need to be observed. Our experts at THIMM will help you find the right paper type for grass corrugated cardboard and thereby ensure an optimum print result for your packaging and displays. Though the deliberate use of grass corrugated cardboard for environmentally-aware target groups and sustainable products in combination with the high-quality digital printing, a wide spectrum of design opportunities can be created.
In order to make use of the unique structure of grass corrugated cardboard as a USP, the design elements should be blended harmoniously with the structural elements. This means that grass corrugated cardboard can be both a component and an element of a first-rate design.

Comparison of digital printing on coated and on uncoated paper and grass paper:

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Possible use areas for grass corrugated cardboard

Grass corrugated cardboard can be found in many different industrial sectors as packaging or as a display for a wide range of products. Some examples of practical use are:

  • Suitable for products, ranges and brands with a focus on sustainability
  • Organic / fairtrade / UTZ food products: coffee / tea, chocolate, fruit / vegetables, milk and milk products
  • Natural cosmetics
  • Pharmaceutical industry in the natural medicine and homeopathy sectors
  • Home & garden with packaging for lawn and plant seeds
     

Benefits of grass corrugated cardboard

  • USP and visual differentiation in the market
  • 100% sustainable
  • Better eco-balance of the raw material grass in relation to wood-based raw materials
  • The raw material grass is a quick renewable raw material and is available several times over the year
  • Same processing as corrugated cardboard
  • Printing similar to corrugated cardboard
  • Many different use areas and applications in the packaging and display sector, specifically for sustainable and/or organic products
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