Performance comparison of paper and plastic sacks: Mark Van Der Merwe, Billerud Korsnas (Sweden)

Filmed at Cemtech Asia 2015, 21-24 June, Grand Hyatt, Bangkok, Thailand

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I'm going to in the next 20-30 minutes take you on a journey, this journey will involve six movies. I'm going to share many interesting facts with you, I'll introduce some new ideas, I'll also leave you with some thoughts that hopefully you will be contemplating after the congress and I'll also introduce you to a new concept which we call quick for clean and it is a concept that we believe will solve some of the problems that we experience in the cement industry with the current and conventional packaging.

This journey is also about improving lives and of course our businesses, we have to be pragmatic about these things it's not all about painting everything green and making it look good, it certainly about making money and that is what we focus on as well. I don't have anybody in the audience here who was in Bangkok two weeks ago, apparently there was a huge storm and then alot of flooding, parts of the city were shut down, the traffic came to a stand still and there was a little bit of chaos in the city.

Two reasons for this one of course is the lot of water falling out of the sky, the other reason was the plastic pollution blocking at the drains. Now plastic is a wonderful material, I use alot of it myself, we cannot live without plastics, certainly not and it's a very durable material, but there's a draw back to this durability in that the material lasts for thousands of years and when it lands in our rivers it, lands up in the sea and eventually it ends up in what they call the Great Pacific garbage patch which is this area in North Pacific where there is a circular current and all this plastic, all this pollution that we throw into the water ends up there and keeps going in one big circle and collecting and collecting.

But I want to go back abit and we need to talk about why we use packaging. Packaging is very important, they say the best packaging is no packaging and certainly I agree with that, people want to move towards bulk packaging and that makes sense, but in the interim we said we do need to use packaging and we use it to transport products from point A to point B. We also use it to identify and communicate and that's very important for those of you who want to stand out from the crowd, who want to improve your branding, not only do you put the name of the cement on the packaging, you also tell the customer what type of cement it is and you communicate information to him about the hazards and how to mix it and such like.

We also use it to store the product, sometimes we even use packaging to add value, OK if you think about it display box in a supermarket that simply one carries the product and then opens up to display it, that adds value. But I guess most importantly we use packaging to protect and preserve the product, but not only do we use it to protect and preserve the product, but also to protect us and the environment from the product if it should be hazardous by nature.

So if all this is true, why do we have cows in India eating plastic? There's a very interesting video clip on YouTube, it's called the plastic cow, it's made by a society called the Kiruna Society for the care of animals and it goes about how the cows walk around India and eat whatever they can find, OK.

At about 25 minutes into the video, you'll see a surgeon doing an operation on a cow and removing 53 kilograms of plastic from the cow's stomach. The other question we have to ask is why do we have our operators standing ankle deep in cement, working with cement. It doesn't happen in all cement plants but certainly it does happen in plants.

And also why do we have floods in Bangkok? Our tag line or at least the tag line for BillerudKorsnas is that we challenge conventional packaging for a sustainable future and with this in our fiber, with this in our DNA we thought about these issues around the current conventional packaging and thought could we fix this?

And we came up with a concept that we believe is a better alternative. It is both business and planet friendly but we also realize that it is about business, we can't simply replace what there is and that it is about business and that we have to be realistic about it so we undertook a study to compare the new concept with current conventional plastic bags and it's those numbers that I will share with you now. The details of the study is certainly we did a market analysis first, we want to understand how many bags are used where etc, is there business opportunity for us and the customers?

We did an analysis in our laboratory and then we also did an analysis across the whole value chain which is currently actually still busy happening, our focus there was the key product is for global cement companies, mainly focused on the packaging's performance backed with a specific interest

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