Navigator launches gKraft, a new line of packaging products

December 1th 2021

The Navigator Company lanza gKrafta new line of packaging products, to help accelerate the transition from plastic to natural, sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable fibers, once again demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and the preservation of the environment.

The launch of the brand became official on November 1, the date on which Portuguese legislation that bans single-use plastics came into force. Thus, gKraft is presented as "the" solution that guarantees the reduction of the use of fossil materials, as is the case of most plastics, in favor of renewable and biodegradable forest materials -From fossil to forest- to help build a sustainable future.

These new packaging solutions created by The Navigator Company were developed to meet the specific needs of the packaging market, particularly the industrial and retail segments: food, catering, pharmaceuticals, apparel and cosmetics.

The brand, gKraft, uses the term "Kraft", which means "strength" and "power" in reference to the company's manufacturing process, in which the fibers obtained have better mechanical properties and greater resistance. In addition, the meaning of the letter "g" in gKraft refers to globulus (the species of eucalyptus used in the production of paper), as well as the various characteristics that define this new product and that make this packaging solution compliant. all sustainability requirements.

Through the use of short eucalyptus fibers In the packaging segment, the company is taking another step forward in product innovation. The Navigator Company conducted extensive research, led by a multidisciplinary team and supported by RAIZ - Forest and Paper Research Institute, which took advantage of the specific molecular structure and morphology of Eucalyptus globulus fibers to develop strong and sustainable paper materials, as alternatives to single-use plastic, that are safer and healthier for the food industry. The project is now generating a new portfolio of patents, one of which has already been submitted for publication in June. In addition, two other patents are under development, one in the advanced preparation phase and the other still in the testing phase.

The gKraft brand includes three sub-brands aimed at the specific needs of the market: FLEX was designed to develop flexible packaging for the food industry, catering and pharmaceutical trade; BAG is intended for retail product packaging (already used by the main international brands such as Zara, Victoria Secret, Desigual, Nike, Cristiano Ronaldo Museum and Real Madrid, which use Navigator paper for their paper bags); finally, BOX (focused on corrugated cardboard box paper) is intended for stronger industrial and retail packaging, i.e. food retail, where there is a growing need for shelf-ready packaging, particularly in refrigerated environments, with high-quality printing.

The Navigator Company has achieved approval for food contact papers with ISEGA, the German institute for certification of packaging products, as well as with InnovHub in Milan, guaranteeing the maximum safety of its products for the food industry, being used, for example, in the production of pizza boxes made of virgin fiber and, as such, without any risk of contamination.

In addition, the new brand provides a quality seal that can be used by all producers who use gKraft paper as a raw material, and is a unique guarantee for the end consumer. It also guarantees that the products do not contain recycled fibers and are therefore free from their associated contaminants and are safe for contact with food.

Eucalyptus globulus: the starting point for packaging innovation

Eucalyptus globulus seems to be a very suitable raw material for different types of paper packaging, thus offering an alternative both to long fibers from northern Europe and to the use of plastic packaging.

The use of virgin fiber of Eucalyptus globulus, obtained from forests managed responsibly and duly certified, enables the efficient use of resources from the point of view of "More with Less", allowing the same square meters of forest area to produce more square meters of paper bags or boxes. This is possible not only because the forest productivity eucalyptus is five to seven times greater than that of Nordic pine, but also because requires less eucalyptus wood for the same amount of paper, in addition to having a greater rotation, which helps to make the most of the carbon dioxide capture in the same area.

Due to its morphology, this species of eucalyptus is also recognized for allowing more recycling cycles, with a much higher recyclability rate compared to other paper fibers, which makes it more sustainable, as demonstrated in several laboratory studies at Japanese and Portuguese universities and at the RAIZ - Forest and Paper Research Institute.

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