Improved packaging at Danzer

Improved packaging at Danzer

For about 2 years, a project team at Danzer, headed by James Angel of Danzer UK has been investigating better options for the packaging material that Danzer uses.

Luckily, a lot of the products sold by Danzer, do not need any packaging to speak of: in particular logs and lumber are transported to the customers without any wrapping or packaging. For lumber, we use narrow steel straps to hold the boards together. The steel can be recycled and is used in very small volumes only.

For sliced veneer and flooring lamellas, the product is too sensitive to be transported without any additional protection. For the past decades, Danzer has been using plastic from recycled sources to wrap these products before they are stacked on wood pallets.
While the amount of recycled plastic is small, I was never happy with this solution. This is the typical “use once and throw away” case that makes plastic so controversial these days, as we cannot control whether our customers make sure that the plastic is being recycled.

Now, we have found a better solution – it is still not an ideal solution, but with the help of the customers, we can accelerate the decomposition of plastic by multitudes. In the future, Danzer Veneer will use oxo-biodegradable plastic as standard foil, produced from recycled plastic. The key difference: if this plastic is exposed to UV light (sunlight), the stabilizers in the plastic start to decay. This starts the process where the plastic decomposes in small, bio-degradable polymers that are much smaller than the micro-plastic strands which have been in the news lately.

Palette Melnik blog 2
The new grey oxo-biodegradable packaging for Danzer veneer

This project is another example of how you can only achieve your objectives partially, even if a lot of energy, time and enthusiasm is deployed: We had hoped that we find a completely bio-decomposable material. Now, we found a solution for parts of our packaging materials that still requires care and diligence on the side of our customers. But we feel this is the better solution for the time being while we keep on looking for an even better material.

Most of the time, progress comes in small steps.

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About the Author

Hans-Joachim Danzer

CEO of Danzer Holding AG

Hans-Joachim Danzer grew up in and around the family hardwood business. He is enthusiastic about the many positive contributions and possibilities of wood. He believes in the power of thinking and looks for solutions that challenge and significantly improve the status quo. If he hadn't joined the Danzer company, most likely he would have become a scientist (physics). He lives with his wife and three kids in the European Alps.