Sustainable Packaging

Can paper replace styrofoam? Richard Dancy / Colourform

June 26, 2022 Cory Connors Season 2 Episode 68
Sustainable Packaging
Can paper replace styrofoam? Richard Dancy / Colourform
Show Notes Transcript

https://www.jamescropper.com/businesses/colourform

what has 177 years of paper production taught them?
Can coffee cups be recycled?
Can you make beautiful packaging from formed paper?

https://www.linkedin.com/in/richardrdancy/

https://ororapackagingsolutions.com/
Looking to improve the sustainability of your packaging today? Check out:
https://www.landsberg.com/
The views and opinions expressed on the "Sustainable Packaging with Cory Connors" podcast are solely those of the author and guests and should not be attributed to any other individual or entity. 

https://specright.com/ This podcast is an independent production and the podcast production is an original work of the author. All rights of ownership and reproduction are retained—copyright 2022.
https://www.amazon.com/dp/1329820053/ref=as_sl_pc_qf_sp_asin_til?tag=corygat

Cory Connors:

Welcome to sustainable packaging with Cory Connors today, I have Mr. Richard Dancy all the way from across the pond in the UK. He is a brand manager for Colourform. How are you, sir?

Richard Dancy:

Good morning. I'm well, thank you very much for having me.

Cory Connors:

I appreciate you taking time for us. This is a, it's an exciting line of products that you guys produce, and I can't wait to talk to you about it. Can you, can you tell us about your background? How did you get into sustainable?

Richard Dancy:

Sure. Yeah. So we're part of the James Cropper group. Who've been making paper and innovating with color and fiber since 1845. So it's 176 years. So yeah, we have all the expertise for, for many, many years. I've been with the business just over two years. And I started in the paper division and then we started cold form which is a separate business, but we started that just in 2016, so four or five years ago. And yeah, that's a really exciting development innovation for us because it's, it's not just, we're used to making. Hundreds and thousands of tons of paper in big reels as the, as the, you know, as the, as the raw material for packaging. But actually Colourform is the first time that we've actually produced the packaging itself. So that's really exciting. It's something different. You know, we offer a full service direct to brands where we can Help and collaborate with the concepts and the designs and the ideas. And then, you know, in, in the UK in Europe, whereabouts just telling you, we're sort of about four hours north of London in the north of England, in the lake district. And , we manufacture there, the finished product there as well. So yeah, that's cool. And you

Cory Connors:

were saying , it's dark and cold and you're ready for the warm sun.

Richard Dancy:

Yeah. I've had to know, you know, when you get up and it's dark and you go to work and there's a bit of light and then you come home and it's dark and you don't know. You've got, you've got nothing to, , it doesn't feel like you want to do anything cause it's cold and windy, but actually today has been beautiful blue skies and it's starting to get light in the morning. So bring on spring, spring on spring

Cory Connors:

and they were all ready for spring. So you sent me some beautiful samples. If you're watching on YouTube, you can see this, but if you're not can you describe, can you tell us about these different products? So basically what they are is molded pulp but the most beautiful molded pulp I've ever seen, you guys have taken it to a different level with the custom colors and just the fine. Edges, everything looks beautiful. What's the secret. How do you guys make this? So.

Richard Dancy:

Yeah. So I guess you've got quite a few samples there and you've got, that's one of the first things that we started with. So actually we've moved on in the last four or five years. We've really moved on as well. So we started doing that. The idea was born from The likes of what you have there, which is a tray or a, you know, an inserter sort of the interior packaging for maybe a mobile phone or a device that traditionally the one before that you were showing, which was the, the tray, which is, which is traditionally made of plastic. And we can produce. High-level luxury, molded fiber product that is 100% mano material, any color you like. And , a lot of the time people don't even believe that it's, that it's paper because it feels just like plastic really smooth. And like you say, a lot of detail. Very, very fine. . Our sweet spot. If you like, is, is, is luxury. So w w whether it's premium drinks or cosmetics or perfume, or electronic devices, that's what we're after. And then the other thing that you've got in your handbag, Cory, which is the, you know, we call that point. So that was the sort of the second generation, if you like, of what we can produce. So that's a beautiful, small could be a perfume bottle. It could be a drinks bottle. And it shows the. The shape that we can produce and the strength and there's a clasp and a, and a hinge and, and that's one single piece made again of, of just fiber mano material. In fact, that one you've got there, like we were saying has got some inclusions in it. So we, we actually, we're all about circularity and recyclability and telling a, a circularity story. So some of our clients. They've got something in the process of, of what they're manufacturing so say , it's a perfume. It could be some, I don't know, rose petals or something, and you can dry those and put them in to the packaging as well. If there's waste material from that, you can, you can actually put it in the packaging, which, which is really cool. And then we're probably now on the third or fourth generation of what we can do, which is yeah, unfortunately I couldn't send you one of these the ruiner champagne bottle globally. It's a, it's a boutique champagne house in, in France. And they they send across the world as part of the LVMH group. Ruina, they they took what they call the second skin and we worked with them on that project. And that really is something beautiful. You know, everything we do is bespoke and it's designed it, it takes the interiors of their cellar walls and it, and it, and it mimics it on the bottles to they've got a unique texture cover the class was beautiful, the embossing and it's, it's, it's just fantastic. It's really exciting. Really exciting. Areas of being.

Cory Connors:

Yeah, well done. I've seen molded Pope for years and I, you know, I think apple has always been kind of the gold standard. You, you guys have taken it to a, in my opinion, a next level with the embossing and, and The bossing here. It's just incredible. I'm holding up a sample. Yeah, that's

Richard Dancy:

the, that's the plinth fast facts path. It's really strong as well. You've that one is in white, but you know, you can do it in, in, like I said, any color, so we have our own color laboratory technical lab that we can do. Anything we've, we've matched all sorts of stuff, brand colors. We've matched, we've matched a brick. We, we worked with our hotel in New York and they sent us a brick and they said, we want to, we want it that color. So we matched it to.

Cory Connors:

Yeah. Is that, are these I know it's not eggs. Are they like, are they some kind of a beauty product or a,

Richard Dancy:

so that's lush that goes across across the globe. And it's for the bath bombs and the oils. So they're, they're kind of not massively into packaging, but when they do have to have packaging, they they wanted to use a really Eco a responsible, sustainable type of packaging. So again, that's probably one of our first iterations and now we're, we're moving into a lot more developed stuff a lot. You know, everything we do is bespoke. So whoever comes to us every time they come to us, it's a brand new project. It's really exciting.

Cory Connors:

That's one of my favorite parts of the packaging world is every day is different for me. And it sounds like you have the same system. I like how you can emboss or, or label the item without. Adding ink. It looks just stunning. Tell us a little bit about kind of the nuts and bolts of it. So it's a hundred percent paper. Where is it sourced? What's the, the post-consumer recycled content. Tell

Richard Dancy:

us about that. Sure. Yeah. So Every, like you say, every project is different. So it depends on the the requirements of the client. For example, the champagne Ruinart bottle had to be they, they wanted it white and they wanted we, we use Sustainable fibers. Most of our fibers come from Europe and their FSC regulated and, and certified We also are able to offer post-consumer waste or post-industrial waste in our products. Post-consumer waste is, is the most exciting and the most popular. And I don't know if you've heard or, you know, this has been covered by many , media over, over the last probably seven or eight years, but we have what's called cup size. So we take single use coffee cups and we have our own a world-class recycling plant. The only one in the world that that takes coffee cups. And we we've, we've taken millions of coffee cups. We take them from McDonald's Starbucks from all around Europe and we recycle. Because it's actually, as you, I'm sure, you know, it's actually good fiber , it's a good premium fiber source, as long as you can get rid of that plastic liner on the inside, which is what we do in our, in onsite. And we we use that so we can use that in the products as well. So we, we, we can use up to I think in products now we're using 20% post-consumer waste. We can probably. You know, depends on again on the products, but you can get out to up to 50%, possibly even more depends what, what it is they want to do with it. Which is, which is really, really great. And the other thing that we do is I know there's a lot of smoke and mirrors in this industry sometimes around sustainability, but we are a hundred percent green energy people say, you know, how can you prove that we're looking at all sorts of different, different you know, we're audited. And we find, but , for anyone to audit us. But we show them the, the solar panels on the roof because we've got huge solar panels, one of the biggest. Roof solar units in the UK. And yeah, so, we source, we have a small hydro plant and we have solar and that goes directly into our production. So so that's, that's really part of the story. And that's what brands want to do, really. You know, as you know, they're telling that their whole story of their brand and that's what customers want to want to see. And so we're able to offer that, , which is great. It's really nice. That's fantastic.

Cory Connors:

A lot of companies made a lot of really big promises in the last year or two about how they're going to be this sustainable by 2025 or that sustainable by 2030. And it seems like. Making a choice of going from maybe a molded styrofoam tray to, to a color form, a paper tray would be a good sustainability option.

Richard Dancy:

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I I think that the whole, , there are many people moving that way. And as I said, you know, that's where we started back five years ago. We're now our kind of sweet spot is telling the story for, , for the luxury end of the market. And the really bespoke. Yeah. So, so we're not doing millions and millions of units. We're doing perhaps somewhere between half 1,000,002 million units of very, very high value items that are entirely bespoke and really have massive standout presence. You know, if you, if you have a look at the second skin Ruinart on the, on the shelf, It replaced a gift box that is it's nine times lighter than the original gift box. And that was made of lots of different types of material. Whereas this is like you say, totally recyclable, just recycling with paper. That's, that's what we can do in the UK. And in Europe, you just, you just put it in the, in with paper. And yeah, that that's that's a, that's a great, it's a great differentiator. I think, you know, Ruinart and LVMH have been amazed. I think we're up to like a dozen awards now, international hygiene awards for that one, that one product, one design because it really has disrupted the industry. You know, it's, it's finally something that they can say. This is, you know, we've gone from here to here in one step and it looks totally different as well. So when you're looking in the, you know, in the, in duty-free and you're about to go on the plane or whatever, you're looking at all those bottles, this looks completely different, which is, which is great. So expect the market to go.

Cory Connors:

Oh, that's exciting. So I was going to ask you what kinds of materials does this replace, but I think you just answered that question. You could replace that was probably a wood box with foam inside and, and some kind of plastic,

Richard Dancy:

Maybe even some metal bits in the catch and you know some of this stuff, I think, you know, the, the consumer now is looking at things like that. Questioning, whether it's a bit outdated, it's a bit over the top, even maybe slightly vulgar, you know, it's kind of too much, whereas this is it's beautiful. It's minimalist, it's styled. It's it's fantastic. And there's a big sway. In that innovation moving that way. We have loads of challenges, you know we, you know, Every time we do something it's completely new. And, you know, some, some of our some of the rest of the supply chain has to change as a result of some of this. And all the testing that has to be done. And, and, you know, the, the Ruinart bottle I needed to be light fast. So it was, it was mimicked on the design of, of the The kind of Somalis a towel around the bottle when they're serving. That was, that was kind of the idea. But for those of you, as people watching on YouTube, they'll see behind me the kiss box, which is, which is our sort of brand new idea. And it's, it's part of our inspire collection, which is just looking at it's a prototype of, of what kind of stuff that you can do. So this was a a lipstick and A oh, what's it called? The lipstick in a on a blusher, a You. And I obviously don't buy

Cory Connors:

a makeup

Richard Dancy:

product. It's a, is a cosmetics product and it's completely monitor material, but it's, it's a big lips and you open it up and it, and it's got it's got the product in there. It looks, it looks really great and that that's something. You know, completely blows the market away because you know, they've never seen anything like that unless it's made from plastic or loads of different types of material. Yeah.

Cory Connors:

It's such an innovation and a kudos to you and your team for taking a different look at the way things can be packaged. It's so important. When people come to us and try to be more sustainable that we say. Let's look at this totally different. How can we totally transform how you're doing things? And like you said, it might take some changes in supply chain. It might take some changes in how you ship it to your consumer. It might take some changes in how it gets stored. But will all those be worth it if it's more sustainable? Well, let's, let's make sure. And let's do an LCA and confirm.

Richard Dancy:

Right. Yeah. Yeah. We we've, we've just updated some of the LCA data that we have, but we have done that and it is significantly improved. You know, you're talking about, you know, 50% improvements or more in, in the difference. And when you're shipping something that is nine times lighter than what you were shipping before, again, as a CR is a great story. And like we said, you know, all these organizations have set out in their values and their You know, IES G commitments that they're going to hit these targets by this certain time. And I would say most of them don't know exactly how they're going to do that. Oh, I would say

Cory Connors:

90% of them. Yeah. I've heard that. I've heard the stat, that 90% of these companies that have made announcements are, have already claimed that they won't actually make these Right. So there's going to be a lot of scrambling. I'm sure you'll get a lot of phone calls and I know we will too. And about how do we, how do we fix.

Richard Dancy:

Right. Yeah. Yeah. And actually they found this there's there's a lot, like you say kudos of being the first mover in these things, because it gets you the credibility, it gets you, the PR it gets you the interest and, and actually you can build that into the model, you know, that it costs you a bit more, but actually you're seen as innovative customers like it, consumers like it, you know, it's it's it's, it's the way to go. We all have to go that way anyway. So let's let's, let's get.

Cory Connors:

I totally agree. It's it's interesting. I grew up, I grew up in the Northwest of the United States in Oregon and we've always been very green. You know, one of the, I think we were the first to do the, the bottle deposit for, for. And attach a value to you know, a waste product to get them back and encourage recycling and constantly trying to do things like that that are more sustainable. So it, you know, when I. We're thinking of a podcast idea. This was immediately yet. I, you know, this is what I've been doing for, for 19 years. So it's I've been thinking about this for so long. It's time to share what we know, right? Yeah. Yeah.

Richard Dancy:

Likewise, you know, when we were kids, we used to get our milk delivered on the doorstep in bottles, and then you put them out the next day and they get collected. Now we stopped doing that for about probably 20 or 30 years. But now we do it again. It's crazy. You know, we get our milk delivered. We put the bottles out and there's no plastic that goes in the, in the recycling anymore. So it just a. Yeah, that's the old fashion and, and also the dairy is, is down the road. You know, it's, there's not many miles covered in the, in the whole, in the whole chain. Yeah.

Cory Connors:

That's, you know, we're looking back at what was successful. Coca-Cola just announced that 25% of their packaging will be in reusable packaging in the next year or two. And that's. You know, they're going, not just glass, but also plastic bottles that can be reused in perpetuity as long as they're handled properly and not punctured. And that to me, Awesome for sustainability.

Richard Dancy:

Yeah. Yeah. I was at the football last night and they have these, I think you have them in the states as well. The, the, the quick filling beer that, that fills from the bottom, you know, those really quick, there's like a magnet in the bottom and they fill up really quickly. But they've all changed now to re these thick plastic ones and you just drop them in and they wash them and they use. And you know, it's, it's so simple, but for years we've just been throwing them away and there's like 50, 52,000 people at every game. You know they're not just having one

Cory Connors:

Yeah. Yeah. I highly doubt there's many that have one, but

Richard Dancy:

I have one,

Cory Connors:

well, kudos to you, sir. Your, your self-control is admirable. Well tell us other than the champagne, what, what what's maybe your favorite project you've worked on so far

Richard Dancy:

yet? We have. Some really exciting projects coming out. Unfortunately, I can't tell you what they are, but I can tell you that they are in the, the beauty and cosmetics arena that based in, in, in Paris. And you know, that some of those luxury brands are really, really exciting. I think, you know, Yeah, those who operate in that sector will have seen the Chanel number five, did a a a hundred year limited edition product. You want to keep your eyes out for, for those kind of innovations coming out into the market. They are really, really exciting. And, and again, I think the way that Ruinart has made a statement and disrupted the luxury drinks market, this is what you're going to see in the perfume and the cosmetics market very soon, really soon. So so that is that's, that's very, very exciting. I think , the other exciting thing is. Those additional things that you can do. So at the moment, are you looking at even, I think the, the Chanel one had a printed label put, put onto it. Which is extra cost and, and not so efficient. We're now printing directly onto the product. And as you say, some of them not even using any ink or any foil or anything because you know, but, but in some cases it needs to stand out. Right? So, so you need to be able to read it. So but we can, we can print directly on to. The products, which is, which is crazy. It just looks beautiful because matching the label with with the color of the, of the packaging. This, you can always tell the difference, but if you can put it directly on just looks, it looks beautiful. How has it

Cory Connors:

printed? Is it pad printing

Richard Dancy:

it again? It depends on the product. There's there's various options. I'm

Cory Connors:

looking at the product behind you. And it's a, three-dimensional you know, set of, of lips. You know, the print

Richard Dancy:

looks that's actually not printed. So that is so that is a four piece item or three piece depending. And actually the the words kiss are cut out. It's a duplex. So the second color comes through. So you'll be seeing, you know, if you keep an eye on, on on my social or whatever, you'll, you'll color, form, social, you'll see the different things that you can do. And I think you guys, I think Evelio showed the the orbit, the jewelry, all that we did watch or the ring. You can, you have different textures, you can have it smooth. You can have like a leather effect or any absolutely any effect that you like. And you know, you can have your logo on there. You can emboss it. The boss said, you know, have whatever you want. I mean, the actually the biggest challenge for us, which is why we came out with the inspired collection is to say, look at these kinds of things you can do. You don't have to do this. You can been taken element from that one. And we, we've got a bottle topper, which takes the the story of the brand through from so we use our brands. So the James Cropper brand has a a bird it's actually a powder it's called a pouter pigeon as part of the crest that the sort of the ambulance. Yeah. Yeah. It's like a whole mark. Yeah. And it might be difficult. Yeah. You can just about see that. Yeah. Yeah. And so we took that theme and we said, you know, why not make the pigeon head and have it as a bottle topper? And it just looks stunning and you can have that in any color. And the, and the idea is not to produce bottle toppers. The idea is to say, what is your brand communicating to your audience? And what cool things could we do? You know, it may be, it's a Firebird and we can create some smoke or something, you know, it's what, who knows. And so rather than people coming to us and saying, or that's not right for us, Challenge us to do stuff, you know, what is it what is it that your brand says? Do you have a, an animal? Do you have a a logo? Do you know? What is it , that you can pull through to communicate in your packaging? Not only a sustainability story, but just something different and how something, in retail, it has a shelf presence to stand out that, that, that looks looks beautiful. And by the way, You can just recycle it , with your paper. Okay.

Cory Connors:

Yeah, Mike, my company Landsberg Aurora has a really cool sunburst as the logo, the Orora , the, oh yeah. And I could, I'm just thinking of how could we use that for some kind of a packaging, you know, we make a wine bottles and Australia, , we could do something there, so we'll be in communication I'm sure.

Richard Dancy:

Okay, great.

Cory Connors:

Is the material also composed?

Richard Dancy:

Yeah. So, so , it is. Yeah, because it's, it's just made of, of pulp. We we don't use that term on our literature because I'm sure you know, the, where it can actually be composted. You say composts, we say compost. So it can be. You know, if there's industrial composting going on, then, then of course, yeah, it can be. But , and I guess you can put it in your garden waste if, if that's what you want to do it be no problem whatsoever. But it's not a term that we, we generally use because it's, combusting, well, as, you know, needs, needs to, needs to come on, it needs to develop a lot. Yeah.

Cory Connors:

I'd rather see it recycled myself. I think we need to keep those fibers in play and you know, that the more we can recycle the better and in my opinion, so well done. Yeah. So how can we get in touch with you? How can a brand reach out to, to use? Should they go to the website? Should they email

Richard Dancy:

you? Yeah, absolutely. They can do all those things so they could go to colourform.co.uk or James cropper.com. And they can have a look at my LinkedIn. So Richard Dansie D a N for November Charlie Yankee, that's me. And yeah, they can email us and, and get in contact that way. Yeah, I would love to hear from you what will be for those people in Europe, you know Europe's opening up now, so we'll be at. There's some great packaging shows luxury packaging shows in Europe Lux pack, premier packaging PCD Paris. So in Milan Paris and Monaco, so you can come and see us there.

Cory Connors:

Will you be at those shows or do you have a marketing team that, that goes,

Richard Dancy:

no, I will be that. Yeah. All, all willing everything, everything working there's the Paris one was due to be, should have been in January. And that's been put back to, to may. So it's may, June and October is the, is the main shows. Yeah. And if you're ever in the UK, then you need to come over, come up and see how we how we've been making paper for 176 years inside of the same site. Yeah.

Cory Connors:

I'll tell my boss it's for work. So I have to go, well, thank you so much, Richard. We really appreciate this. I'd like to thank Landsberg Orora for sponsoring the podcast. And if you're listening, please subscribe. Give us a review. Tell your friends about us. We can make more great episodes. Thank you again, sir.

Richard Dancy:

Thank you very much. Great to talk to you. All right.