Koehler NexPlus® Advanced Flexible Packaging Paper Recognized with Baden-Württemberg Environmental Technology Prize 2023

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Koehler Paper is celebrating winning third prize in the “Material efficiency” category of the Baden-Württemberg Environmental Technology Prize 2023 for its “Koehler NexPlus® Advanced” flexible packaging paper. Offering barrier protection against acids, fats, and mineral oils, the “Koehler NexPlus® Advanced” paper is suitable for packaging products such as chocolate and snacks. It is also fully recyclable and – with a score of 19 out of a possible 20 points – has been certified in line with the “Made for Recycling” standard from environmental service provider Interseroh. In comparison with standard plastic packaging, flexible paper packaging such as this has the potential to significantly reduce a company’s carbon footprint.

The award ceremony took place on October 24, 2023 at the Schwabenlandhalle conference center in Fellbach near Stuttgart, Germany, and was presided over by Dr. Andre Baumann, the German State Secretary for the Environment, who praised the prize winners and nominees, saying: “The caliber of this year’s prize winners and long list of nominees is proof of the innovation shown by Baden-Württemberg’s industrial sector in finding new, more sustainable ways to manufacture their products and preserve our precious resources. The Baden-Württemberg Environmental Technology Prize exists precisely to showcase these ideas.” Frank Lendowski, Finance and Administration Director for the Koehler Group, and Dr. Markus Wildberger, Corporate Director for Technology at Koehler Innovation & Technology, accepted the prize at the award ceremony in Fellbach. “Sustainability is a basic guiding principle for the way the Koehler Group does business, a cornerstone of our company’s strategy, and therefore an integral part of our organization. It is an honor to be awarded this Environmental Technology Prize for our flexible packaging paper, but it is also our motivation to go further and develop even more innovative paper solutions for the future,” explained Frank Lendowski the meaning of the award for the company.

Innovative “Koehler NexPlus® Advanced” packaging paper simplifies the switch to paper packaging

The “Koehler NexPlus® Advanced” packaging paper was created by a team of experts from both Koehler Innovation & Technology and Koehler Paper. The product expands the range of barrier papers available to businesses looking for suitable opportunities to replace plastic packaging with paper. “The base paper—which we developed in-house—has been designed to be as compatible as possible with existing packaging plants, in order to reduce the investment costs involved in switching to paper-based packaging. The functional coating provides barrier protection against acids, fats, and mineral oils, and is also sealable, using either a cold seal adhesive or a hot sealing system directly on the packaging machinery,” explained Dr. Markus Wildberger, Corporate Director for Technology at Koehler Innovation & Technology. Other advantages of this packaging paper include its excellent printing properties—vital for communicating product information to end consumers— its suitability for hot sealing, and its out-standing crease resistance. Moreover, the paper’s barrier properties remain intact even at the end of intensive packaging processes.

When it began using “Koehler NexPlus® Advanced” to package its “nucao fruits” and “nucao nuts” products at the end of 2022, chocolate start-up nucao became the first chocolate manufacturer on the market to use a primary packaging material made from 100% paper. Making this switch has enabled nucao to meet a key consumer demand for greater sustainability and to lead the way in the chocolate market with how it chooses to package its products. The primary packaging for most chocolate products currently on the market is made from aluminum foil laminated materials, the majority of which cannot be recycled. Studies clearly show that consumers perceive these laminated packaging materials to be bad for the environment and prefer the natural appearance and recyclability of paper packaging.