When multinational cosmetics company Beiersdorf AG needed sustainable paper packaging for its NIVEA skin care brand in China, it turned to Eastman. The specialty materials innovator worked with Beiersdorf and several of its suppliers to help deliver packaging that was recyclable and lighter weight with no compromises in attractiveness, quality or performance.
"Eastman collaborated with us and several of our suppliers to offer solutions across the value chain," said Vicky Zong, Beiersdorf's Innovation Center Shanghai packaging development leader in Shanghai. "This is very important to us because innovative packaging solutions play a major role in our company's sustainability agenda: CARE BEYOND SKIN."
By 2025, Beiersdorf wants to achieve 100% refillable, reusable or recyclable packaging; increase the share of recycled material in plastic packaging to 30%; and, in the same period, reduce the use of fossil-based virgin plastic by 50% (base year 2019).
The Eastman technology team worked closely with Beiersdorf and its suppliers along the value chain to qualify the new process. Eastman's cellulose esters were key in ensuring the success of the technology, which involved switching from laminated paper to film-free paper in a process called "transfer metallization." Transfer metallization offers very high-quality appearance and results in packaging that is still recyclable.
"In this application, our cellulose ester release coating offers better appearance, better ink adhesion and better-balanced anti-folding and anti-blocking properties than alternative solutions," said Eric Zhang, Eastman market development manager in Shanghai.
The process has typically been used on very specialized packaging. Commitments by companies like Beiersdorf to reach ambitious sustainability goals have led to its wider use. Already, the outer packaging of seven new NIVEA product lines have been upgraded to this recyclable solution, which also can reduce the packaging's weight by up to 10%.
"The combination of our knowledge of cellulose esters and application development support is truly unique," said Leslie Montgomery, Eastman's segment market manager for coatings and inks. "Our application expertise is unparalleled and comes from more than 60 years of experience working with cellulose esters."
"This is a solution that other brands pursuing greater sustainability can adopt," said Christian Derbez, Eastman's sales director for coatings and inks in the Asia Pacific region. "The key here is that we can make a difference down the value chain and respond to a trend with real solutions that help everyone involved."
About Beiersdorf AG
Beiersdorf AG is a leading provider of innovative, high-quality skin care products and has more than 135 years of experience in this market segment. The Hamburg-based company has about 20,000 employees worldwide and is listed on the DAX, the German benchmark equities index. Beiersdorf generated sales of 7.6 billion in financial year 2019. Its product portfolio comprises strong, international leading skin and body care brands, including NIVEA – the world's no. 1 skin care brand* – Eucerin, Hansaplast/Elastoplast, and La Prairie. Millions of people around the world choose Beiersdorf brands every day because of their innovative, high-quality products. Further renowned brands such as Labello, Aquaphor, Florena, 8X4, Hidrofugal, atrix, Maestro, and Coppertone round off the extensive portfolio. Beiersdorf's wholly owned affiliate tesa SE, another globally leading manufacturer in its field, supplies self-adhesive products and system solutions to industry, craft businesses and consumers.