Pulp and paper maker Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL Group) has started construction on a 33.4 trillion rupiah (US$1.9 billion) sustainable paperboard packaging facility on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
The manufacturing plant in Pangkalan Kerinci, Riau province, is expected to support Indonesia’s economic development and recovery from the pandemic through the diversification of sustainable downstream fibre products with added value, the firm says.
When completed, the facility will be able to produce 1.2 million tonnes of folding box boards annually that are fully recyclable and biodegradable, aiming to meet the growing demand for more environment-friendly packaging products in the domestic and international markets.
The project comes as a global focus on reducing the use of plastics, polyester and other fossil fuel-based materials gathers pace. Demand for recyclable and biodegradable options for everything from packaging to fashion is being driven by consumer preference via expanding e-retail purchases in high-growth markets such as China, Indonesia, India and Vietnam.
The global paperboard packaging market is expected to grow by 3% this year, also driven by increased food production linked to population growth and lifestyle changes such as the preference for individual packaging and food deliveries.
APRIL Group notes that its fibre supply comes from 100% renewable plantation sources. Additional supply for expanded production capacity will come entirely from its existing supply chain. The company has posted a 40% increase in fibre yield over the past five years from its existing plantations while also committing US$1 per tonne of plantation fibre produced towards landscape conservation. The company has targeted a 50% gain in fibre plantation productivity by 2030.