LUXURY PAPER PULP PACKAGING
A sustainable & SLEEK solution
Most of us are familiar with molded paper pulp technology from the egg carton.
In the last 10 years, the technology has improved to create a product that has a clean and smooth finish. Its now being found in the packaging for expensive tech, cosmetic and jewellery products.
To give an idea of its increase in popularity; in the last 10 years, we produced less than 3 projects a year involving molded paper pulp products. But in 2020 alone, we completed at least 17 projects.
So why are brands choosing paper pulp for their packaging?
- Its made from the waste product of sugarcane which is turned into a paper
- Its super eco-friendly. It's recyclable, degradable and food safe.
- It looks sleek and modern due to it being molded from 1 piece of material
- It possess many of the qualities of plastic without the environmental damage
How are paper pulp products made?
We make our paper pulp products in Dongguan, China, close to our paper packaging factory. Below is a step by step guide to how the product is produced.
The raw material arrives from the material supplier. The paper comes from the waste product of sugar cane which has long fibres and fast growing ability. We can also use paper made from bamboo or recycled corrugated boxes. We also re-use any wastage in the factory as a paper source.
The paper is placed into a big blender and mixed with water and blended into a wet paper pulp. This is then fed through large tubes to the forming machines.
The forming machine (below) has a male and female plate that press together sandwiching the wet paper pulp between the two plates and pressing the majority of the water out.
The semi-finished product is transferred to another set of machines that use heat and pressure to remove all of the moisture. Any debossing or embossing is done at this stage. The product is almost perfectly formed now.
The sheets are transferred to a die cutting machine which individually cut out each product and a worker packs them together.
Above - Each stage of the product; From wet forming, drying and finally die cutting.
- Tooling can be expensive. Between £2500 to £10,000 per tool depending on the complexity required
- Paper pulp can be dyed to PMS, embossing and debossing is possible, foiling is sometimes possible. CMYK printing is not possible
- The final design cannot have vertical edges. I.E. Should have a draft angle of 3-5 degrees
- Minimum order starts from 10,000 pcs. Smaller runs are possible but set-ups costs can be prohibitive
- Lead times start from 35 days. Molds take around 20 to 25 days to make
EXAMPLES OF PAPER PULP PACKAGING
1. L'Occitane Cumaru Perfume Box
Produced in 2016, the L'Occitane Cumaru perfume packaging is a great design that does as good a job at protecting the product as it does creating theatre for the bottle.
By recycling corrugated boxes as a base mix for the pulp, finished product will appear more rough than using (say) sugar cane or bamboo.
Wrapology were delighted to work with Gisou on developing and manufacturing the packaging for the launch of their new hair curler.
The design is based around a theme of a toolbox and is made from the waste product of sugarcane which is dyed to a PMS colour for the outside tray. The inside tray is made from dyed black paper.
One of the main challenges in producing complex designs is to ensure that the paper pulp mix reaches all parts of the mold evenly so when the pulp is compressed, the product can a) come off the mold and b) the finish is even.
A lot of technical development goes into the mold making which is the most complicated part of the production process.
The Sequent watch packaging is made from 4 parts; lid, base and 2 inner trays. A total of 4 molds were required to produce this design. Each mold had to interlock precisely with each other in order for the packaging to stay together during the unboxing experience.
Wrapology also produced a mailing box, sleeve and instruction booklet in a paper material to match the box in terms of colour and texture.