Latest News & Features

Sappi Ngodwana Mill marks the official opening of Specialised Cellulose line

Side view of the Uptake #3 machine forming board.

Side view of the Uptake #3 machine forming board.

Joined by mill employees, suppliers and customers, the MEC of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism of Mpumalanga, Mr Sikhumbuzo Eric Kholwane along with Sappi Chief Executive Officer Ralph Boëttger officially opened the new Specialised Cellulose fibre line on 18 June 2014 at Sappi’s Ngodwana Mill in Mpumalanga. The successful upgrade to produce Specialised Cellulose (also known as dissolving wood pulp)  marks an exciting phase of growth and development for the company, and the province, stated the press statement. Continue reading

Personalise with paper

Use letter stencils to personalise your gifts (Photo:

Use letter stencils to personalise your gifts (Photo:

Personalise a gift by using the recipient’s initial as part of the embellishment. 

Buy a letter stencil at a hardware store and cut out the letter from scrapbooking paper. Use it against an unpatterned background so that it stands out.

We used a cardboard box for one of our gifts and green sugar paper – an affordable type of art paper – to wrap the other. Decorate your gift with matching ribbon, cord or pins.


Mondi Coatings develops sustainable collection bag for Nespresso

The novel bag will be launched as a collection bag for the Nespresso recycling programme. (Photo: Nespresso)

The novel bag will be launched as a collection bag for the Nespresso recycling programme. (Photo: Nespresso)

Following intensive product development, Mondi Coatings has introduced an innovative paper-based bag coated with Sustainex®, Mondi’s biodegradable, compostable and recyclable biopolymer solution. The novel bag will be launched as a collection bag for the Nespresso recycling programme. Thanks to the biopolymer extrusion coating of the FSC™-certified paper and a sealing strip, the bag can be safely closed and sealed against moisture. Continue reading

Sappi’s new barrier substrates address migration concerns mineral oil

Sappi Fine Paper Europe is launching Algro Guard M and Leine Guard M barrier paper grades at Interpack 2014 – These sustainable and recyclable packaging materials are designed to address concerns about migration of mineral oil into food from packaging that is manufactured from recycled paper. Continue reading

Next-generation PM7 goes live at Mondi Štětí

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Mondi’s Štětí mill in the Czech Republic

Mondi’s new €70 million PM7 has gone live in Štětí, Czech Republic. The machine will produce white kraft paper, mainly for industrial bags and shopping bags. “PM7 is a very exciting project, offering the combination of exceptionally good printability and high strength properties” says Clemens Willée, CEO Mondi Packaging Paper. “The machine’s precision will also guarantee significantly smoother paper surfaces.” Continue reading

Sappi Fine Paper Europe expands weight range of release liners portfolio

Sappi Expands Algro® Sol Release Liners Portfolio | New markets targeted with broader weight range following Alfeld Mill PM2 rebuild

Sappi Fine Paper Europe is targeting new markets with an expanded weight range in its Algro Sol portfolio of release liners following the successful €60m transformation of Alfeld Mill’s PM2. The development of the effective lightweight efficiency liners has been made possible by the new 135-ton, 6.4 meters in diameter MG cylinder recently installed on PM2 in the Sappi Alfeld mill. It produces excellent high dimensional stability and surface properties of Algro Sol papers that favour converting. Continue reading

Global forest and paper industry highlights benefits of bio-based packaging at Interpack Trade Fair

Today, May 9, the International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) will participate in the special event International Coalition Bio-based Packaging: A Green Food Saver at the 2014 Interpack trade fair held in Düsseldorf, Germany.  ICFPA is partnering on the event with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Technology Research Centre of Finland (VTT).

“Paper-based packaging plays an important role in minimizing food waste,” said ICFPA President Donna Harman. “By providing bio-based means to transport, protect and preserve food, our industry is helping to meet the needs of the growing global population.”

Paper-based packaging is made from a renewable resource – well-managed forests – and delivers a sustainable packaging option to bring food from the field to the home safely and in excellent condition: corrugated boxes protect food when it is shipped to stores; paperboard is used to package food for efficient stocking and display; and paper bags give customers an environmentally-friendly way to transport their purchases.

In addition, new and innovative paper-based packaging is continuously developed to increase functional use – including optimal food preservation – and to better serve consumers.

Paper and paper-based packaging industries around the world make great efforts to recover, and increase recovery of, their products for recycling. RISI data indicates that the global recovery rate for corrugated paperboard packaging is approaching 90 percent.

The ICFPA represents more than 30 national and regional forest and paper associations around the world, including the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa. Together, ICFPA members represent nearly 90 percent of global paper production and 50 percent of global wood production.

For more information about the sustainability of the global forest and paper industry, visit


Use paper to reduce your carbon footprint.

People Paper ChainNo, that is not a typo in the headline. It is a fact.

In the current age of digital communication, it is important to consider how our choice of media and communications impacts on our carbon footprints. 

“While there is no doubt that technology offers immediacy and convenience, we need to take a careful look at the lifecycles of both digital and paper. Too often there are claims – many of which are unsubstantiated – that market digital as ‘greener’ than print,” says Jane Molony, executive director of the Paper Manufacturers Association of South Africa (PAMSA).

Save the planet and go digital. Go green, read it on screen. Consider the environment before printing this email.  “Many of us have inherited a mindset that paper is bad for the environment, that its production kills trees,” states Molony. “But few would believe that responsible paper manufacturing, consumption and recycling is ‘green’.”

We need to start considering both sides of the story.

The paper story
South African paper producers source wood from sustainably farmed plantation trees, as well as recycled paper and sugar cane fibre. To sustain production, less than 10% of the plantations are harvested annually.  The timber is chipped, pulped and paper is made. In the same year, saplings are planted – an average of 262,000 new trees per day.

Mitigating impact

Plantations are vital for the sequestration of carbon dioxide. (Photo: Sappi)

Plantations are vital for the sequestration of carbon dioxide. (Photo: Sappi)

Just like most industries, paper manufacturing has an impact on the environment, but this mitigated in a number of ways. Perhaps the most significant is the carbon sequestration of plantations from where the wood is sourced. The 762,000 hectares of South Africa’s commercial timber plantations absorb 20 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and greenhouse gases (GHGs) annually.  Similarly, these trees release some 15 million tonnes of life-giving oxygen per year.

The paper industry invests heavily in biomass-based renewable energy, emission reduction and water recycling initiatives, biodiversity conservation at plantation level as well as the promotion of paper recovery and recycling.

Once paper is produced, the carbon is locked up and kept out of the atmosphere – in copier paper, books, printed documents, cardboard boxes – to name a few.

By recycling paper, we keep this carbon locked up. Destined for landfill – a compact, anaerobic environment – paper (mixed with other waste) will degrade and release gases such as methane which is 25 times more potent than CO2.

The digital (dark) side

Computers, servers and digital devices are made from, in most cases, non-renewable materials and require electricity to function. Many components are imported too. Electronic documents are stored in data centres and server rooms which generate heat and further require air-conditioning to regulate temperature.

Researchers are only beginning to study the environmental effects of e-mail, digital data storage, internet searches and social networking. “We don’t know the environmental impact of saving a document on a server for 10 years or more. And we have no idea of the impact of extracting finite resources to make electronic devices that cannot easily be recycled safely and practically,” says Hans Wegner, chief sustainability officer of the National Geographic Society[i].

Consider the unseen

Data centres are filled with servers, which are like bulked-up desktop computers, minus screens and keyboards, that contain chips to process data. (Photo: Ethan Pines for The New York Times)

Data centres are filled with servers, which are like bulked-up desktop computers, minus screens and keyboards, that contain chips to process data. (Photo: Ethan Pines for The New York Times)

In his report Print vs Digital Media: False Dilemmas and Forced Choices, Don Carli, a senior researcher at the Institute of Sustainable Communication, says: “[The] invisible ‘grey energy’ used to manufacture digital technologies and the toxic ‘e-waste’ associated with electronics are largely out of sight and out of mind. ‘Dark data’ is also exchanged between computers but never seen by human eyes.”

According to a study by the Centre for Energy-Efficient Telecommunications at University of Melbourne, by 2015 wireless ‘cloud’ infrastructure will consume as much as 43 terawatt-hours of electricity worldwide while generating 30 megatons of CO2 – the equivalent of 4.9 million vehicles worth of carbon emissions. 

Be responsible users of both

“Digital is here to stay and we have nothing against that,” assures Molony. “But paper has its benefits too. Both have their place and fulfill different needs. We must use our chosen means of communication responsibly.”

Paper is a renewable resource and we should look at its entire lifecycle when calculating its carbon footprint. “It is important to source paper from certified producers. In South Africa, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) mark of certification is one that businesses and consumers should look for,” explains Molony. “Educate your colleagues about the importance of responsible paper consumption and recycling, especially those overseeing procurement and waste management.”

[i] eQ Journal, Issue 004