Danzer is hard at work exploring different ways to reduce plastic packaging
For two years, a project team at hardwood specialist Danzer has been researching different ways to cut the amount of plastic used in packaging. After conducting extensive research, the company has now taken the first steps towards addressing the issue: from the end of 2018, Danzer will change over to oxo-biodegradable packaging for a significant portion of its veneers and hardwood flooring wear layer products.
“Over the past two years the Danzer team has been looking at ways to cut the amount of plastic packaging and trying to find more environmentally-friendly materials,” explained Danzer CEO Hans-Joachim Danzer. Danzer’s decision to use oxo-biodegradable plastic (OBP) to wrap its veneer pallets in future is an important one: “It is about moving in a new direction. In an ideal world we would have done away with plastic altogether. However, as things currently stand this is not an option for some of the products in our range. The properties of the material are just too specific – plastic is waterproof and at the same time extremely lightweight. Using oxo-biodegradable plastic rather than conventional plastics represented the best alternative open to us right now,” explained Hans-Joachim Danzer, before adding: “In most cases, progress comes in small steps. The project teams will continue to work on further optimizing the use of packaging materials in every area of production at the company.”
Properties of oxo-biodegradable plastic
Oxo-biodegradable plastic is made of recycled plastics. The main difference to conventional types is that it breaks down under exposure to ultraviolet light in around two years, due to its chemical properties. “Working with our customers, we have made an important contribution towards ensuring that less plastic residue is left in the environment – as it degrades, the material breaks down into tiny biodegradable polymers,” explained Hans-Joachim Danzer. The new material will be introduced gradually. “Our plant in Mělník in the Czech Republic will set the ball rolling, with all of our other production facilities set to follow suit one after the other,” Hans-Joachim Danzer concluded.
Danzer facts box:
One of the world’s largest producers of decorative hardwood.
Holding company located in: Dornbirn, Austria
Production sites: 4 in Europe, 6 in North America
Sales offices: 7 in Europe, 8 in North America, 3 in Asia
Product range: sliced wood, lumber, timber and logs, specialty products (Vinterio, 3D-Veneer)
Sales in 2017: EUR 210 million
Supplies customers in 76 countries worldwide
Employees: 1,600 worldwide
Danzer is a leading quality hardwood company with production facilities in North America and Europe. It has approximately 1,600 employees and services customers from 18 sales offices worldwide. Founded in 1932, Danzer is managed by a third-generation family member. The company owns and sustainably manages forests in North America and produces sliced veneer, lumber and innovative value-added wood products for decorative purposes. Danzer products are used in high-quality furniture, kitchen cabinets, cars and other applications.