Swanline pledges plastic-free paper and board business by 2020

By Rhys Handley, Friday 01 February 2019

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Swanline Paper & Board has committed itself to becoming an entirely plastic-free business by the start of 2020, while saving money for its clients.

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Griffin: turnover will double as a result of plastic divestment

The Stone, Staffordshire-based stockist and converter, a subsidiary of the Swanline Group, is working on reducing its reliance on plastics and has set itself a 12-month deadline to cut plastic products from its product portfolio.

As part of this initiative, the company added Cygnus Eco Board and Cygnus Excellent Board to its line-up last year. Both are FSC-certified, compostable, recyclable and biodegradable substrates designed to replace single-use plastics.

Swanline will try to convert its customer base onto the new materials over 2019, while phasing out the use of other plastics at its factory and offices with the help of consultants, in order to meet its own deadline.

Managing director Ross Griffin said: “A lot of work from a lot of people has led us to the point where we are ready to set a 2020 deadline and now that the solutions are ready, we are accelerating our bid to go plastic-free.

“I am very passionate about the plastics issue; this is a problem we have created ourselves and I am conscious that as businesses we have an obligation to put it right.

“We would like to be seen as innovators in sustainability and light the way for our competitors. I think the main draw is that I actually see growth in our business’s future as our plastic-free offering will be either cost-neutral or actually save money for our clients.”

Parent company Swanline Group has a team of seven constructional designers working on the Cygnus range to devise ways the substrates can replace plastic.

Eco Board has already been identified as a substitute for soft foam boards, foam PVC, fluted polypropylene, PE-coated materials and high-impact polystyrene (HIPS), while Excellent Board is designed for indoor use, replacing foam PVC, styrene and foam boards in retail signage and POS applications.

Another key development across the group will be the planned transformation of Scunthorpe subsidiary CorrBoard to become the UK’s first carbon-neutral corrugated company.

On behalf of Swanline Paper & Board, Griffin has begun conversations with partners in the US, Australia and New Zealand to further its plastic divestment initiative.

Swanline Paper & Board employs 25 members of staff, with its main plant covering 2,320sqm floorspace. It currently turns over £7m, though Griffin anticipates the figure will double in the course of the year.

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