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A Brighter, Whiter Coated Recycled Paperboard

Graphic Packaging International’s new PaceSetter Ranier coated recycled paperboard offers the features of SBS combined with recycled content.

Graphic Packaging International's new PaceSetter Rainier paperboard offers many of the characteristics of SBS in combination with recycled content.
Graphic Packaging International's new PaceSetter Rainier paperboard offers many of the characteristics of SBS in combination with recycled content.


At its PACK EXPO Las Vegas booth, Graphic Packaging International is featuring its new coated recycled paperboard (CRB) innovation, PaceSetter Rainier. Named after Mount Rainier, known for its pristine white snow-capped summit, the new paperboard offers many of the characteristics of solid bleached sulfate (SBS) in combination with recycled content.

“One of the big trends that we see is the increase in the desire to have packaging made out of recycled content [paperboard], but one of the really big challenges with recycled content is that, while it’s fantastic, it doesn’t always work for every purpose just from a shelf-appeal standpoint because it has a brown appearance,” explained Jeannine Scherzer, marketing director at Graphic Packaging International, LLC. “For brands that want to have a really bright, impactful carton, having a slightly duller paperboard isn’t going to work for that. But now we’ve figured out how to make a recycled sheet that’s pretty bright white.”

According to GPI, with a brightness and whiteness that exceeds that of traditional CRB, PaceSetter Rainier can compete directly with SBS and folding box board (FBB). In addition, it provides improved surface smoothness for enhanced printability and tactile performance.

Printability, in particular, is especially important for applications such as OTC packaging. “If you’re selling pain medication, for example, that requires you to date code on the side or that requires a lot of fine print, you can’t get that crispness and accuracy with recycled content material; you’ll end up having letters bleed, and then you won’t be able to read the date codes. That’s very critical for the healthcare segment,” Scherzer explained. “This is the first time that they [healthcare CPGs] are actually able to get packaging with recycled content that a lot of their consumers are asking for, a lot of hospitals want to move that way, without sacrificing the shelf appeal. This is really a game changer for a lot of these companies.”

The ability to produce new PaceSetter Ranier is the result of Graphic Packaging’s recent investments in CRB, which total an estimated $1.7 billion combined for projects in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Waco, Tex. According to Scherzer, the company’s new CRB line in Kalamazoo—the first new paper machine investment in nearly four decades—features a range of new technologies and high-speed capabilities that allow it to handle advancements such as different coatings or a different process.

“It really speaks to the quality and capabilities of that machine—it’s really impressive,” said Scherzer. “That investment and expanding that capacity is allowing us to really hone in on making our already sustainable products even more sustainable.”

The new paperboard grade is initially available in 12 to 18-pt calipers and is suited for a range of packaging applications, including healthcare, beauty, confectionery, dry goods, dairy, and more. PW

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