The award-winning cement sack D-Sack™ disintegrates in the mixer – improving work site environment and reducing waste. Photo: BillerudKorsnäs.

”Sustainable packaging solutions are about the impact, both positive and negative, packaging and its contents have on people and the planet, today and tomorrow. To be truly innovative, we have to understand, measure and solve needs throughout the value chain of the packaging and the packed product. Recently, our D-Sack™ was awarded a prestigious innovation prize in sustainable development”, says Mikael Strömbäck, Business Segment Director, Sack Solutions at BillerudKorsnäs.

”D-Sack™ won the Pulp & Paper International (PPI) award 2015 for innovation in sustainable packaging. The judges specifically appreciated how the D-Sack™ solution approaches sustainability from a broader perspective; not limiting innovation to the recyclability or biodegradability of the material. It encompasses the entire value chain”, Mikael continues.

For seven years, the global PPI award has honored leadership, vision and innovation.

The packaging is dissolved

BillerudKorsnäs developed the new sack D-Sack™ together with the world’s largest cement manufacturer, LafargeHolcim. The packaging was introduced in spring 2015 after two years of collaboration. The innovative feature is that the sack is dissolved upon use. It is thrown directly into the concrete or mortar mixer, without being opened. Working conditions are improved and there is less environmental impact, no dust and no mess.

”It makes life easier for the users and provides a cleaner, healthier and safer worksite. There is no packaging waste and therefore no cost for waste disposal. It also eliminates cement waste and optimizes the time needed for handling and mixing”, says Mikael Strömbäck.

”Combining the dissolvability of the sack with a moisture barrier without plastic was a big challenge. D-Sack™ comprises two layers of white QuickFill paper, and includes a patented moisture barrier which enables the sack to disintegrate fully when subjected to mechanical action and water in the concrete mixer. The paper is manufactured in the paper mill in Karlsborg in Kalix, and the sack itself is manufactured by Tenax in Germany, as a subcontractor for BillerudKorsnäs. The target audience is primarily the construction industry, where the demands for efficiency and sustainability are high. France will be the inital market, but the global potential is huge”, Mikael says.

Reduced need for material

”Millions of tons of industrial products, foodstuffs and animal feed are packed in sacks made from our high-quality kraft paper. Using 100% primary fibres from northern forests gives the material a unique strength. Our sack solutions can reduce paper usage by 30 percent, and increase filling speed by 25 percent. The QuickFill® range of white and brown sack papers is the most important, combining high strength with porosity. Research and development of sack solutions is mostly performed at the company’s Sack Lab, located in Karlsborg. The laboratory is equipped with new, modern equipment for the testing of paper sacks, such as a filling machine, a fully-automated drop tester, and a high speed thermography camera.

”The ability to develop new packaging solutions is derived from the accumulated skill of the Sack Solutions team, and from our close collaboration with other companies working in the industrial sack value chain”, says Mikael Strömbäck.

The article was published in December 2015