The Navigator Company has launched a new line of packaging products, the gKraft brand, to help accelerate the transition from plastic to the use of natural, sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable fibres, once again demonstrating its commitment to sustainability and preserving the environment.
The brand's launch was made official last Monday, November 1st, the date on which Portuguese legislation prohibiting single-use plastics entered into force. Thus, gKraft presents itself as “the” solution that guarantees the reduction of the use of fossil materials, as is the case with most plastics, in favour of renewable and biodegradable forest-based materials – “From Fossil to Forest” – to help build a sustainable future.
Forest-based products, particularly those obtained from planted forests, are essential in the transition away from a linear fossil economy – based on finite, environmentally unfriendly resources with no future – to a sustainable circular bioeconomy which is nature-friendly and climate-neutral.
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, pharmaceutical, apparel and cosmetics.
The brand name, gKraft, uses the term “Kraft”, which means “strength” and “power” in reference to the company's manufacturing process, in which the fibres 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 paper production), as well as the various characteristics that define this new product - good, green, game changer, guaranteed results, growth – and that make this packaging solution meet all sustainability requirements.
By using short eucalyptus fibres in the packaging segment, the company is taking another step forward in the innovation of its products. Despite having produced packaging paper for almost twenty years, The Navigator Company capitalised on the pandemic period to carry out extensive research, development and innovation, 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 fibres to develop resistant and sustainable paper materials, as alternatives to single-use plastic, which 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 being developed, one in an advanced preparation phase and the other still in the trial phase.
The gKraft brand includes three sub-brands targeting specific market needs: 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 major international brands such as Zara, Victoria Secret, Desigual, Nike, Cristiano Ronaldo Museum and Real Madrid, that use Navigator paper for their paper bags, helping to fight against the use of single-use plastic); finally, BOX (focused on paper for corrugated cardboard boxes) is intended for more resistant industrial and retail packaging, namely food retail, where there is a growing need for shelf-ready packaging, particularly in refrigerated environments, with high-quality printing to attract consumers and differentiate brands from the competition, which is critical today.
In addition to providing lighter packaging with the same strength, this new range of packaging papers is also safer and healthier when in contact with skin and food compared to recycled papers which have been banned in some European countries whenever there is direct contact with food due to the fact that they contain harmful chemicals. The Navigator Company has secured the approval of 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 from virgin fibre and, as such, without any risk of contamination.