Taiwan youth group “NextPack”, using MIT honeycomb paper to revolutionize online shopping packaging
Nowadays, the e-commerce industry is booming, and many e-commerce companies choose to use plastic bubble wrap as the cushioning material in logistics and transportation. However, these waste plastics are difficult to recycle. Li Genglin (Keng), the founder of NextPack Tomorrow Business, noticed this situation and decided to carry forward the honeycomb paper developed by his family to encourage enterprises and the public to replace ordinary plastic bubble wrap with honeycomb paper to achieve environmental protection goals.
Local production of honeycomb paper hopes to replace plastic bubble wrap
Whether in Taiwan or the world, the e-commerce market is growing rapidly. Keng said that in response to this trend, the environmentally friendly packaging materials currently being promoted in the market are biodegradable plastic bags, but the current recycling system cannot actually digest this material , That is to say, biodegradable plastic bags will still become garbage and be thrown away, which does not achieve the value of environmental protection. Relatively speaking, it is a relatively intuitive and simpler way for paper materials to enter the recycling system. In addition, Keng also found that the international community began to encourage the spirit of environment, society, and corporate governance (ESG), so that companies needed to make changes. Keng believed that honeycomb paper could be an alternative for them to change, so the honeycomb paper developed for family factories was established. Brand, and have done a more complete concept promotion and consumer education, through the production of teaching videos, lectures, and writing articles to help consumers solve the problems related to honeycomb paper, hoping to encourage enterprises and individuals to use honeycomb paper as environmentally friendly packaging materials, Reduce the use of plastic bubble wrap as an action plan for environmental sustainability. Honeycomb paper is a paper made by professional cutting technology. Because of the special hexagonal honeycomb structure, it can be used as a packaging material with cushioning ability. The volume of honeycomb paper after storage is about 1/25 of that of plastic bubble paper, which effectively saves logistics storage space, and can be recovered flat after use and can be reused again. In addition, the honeycomb paper produced by NextPack uses FSC-certified paper sources, which can be 100% recycled and decomposed, and can be sealed and packaged without other adhesive products, and can be completely recycled after use. Keng’s family was originally a manufacturer of die-cutting equipment. These die-cutting devices were used to make facial masks, wafers and other products. When Keng’s cousin had the idea of making honeycomb paper, he integrated the family’s original die-cutting factory technology. Apply it to the manufacture of honeycomb paper, use the technology to rotate, and combine the old hardware with new products. Keng said that in the past, when people cut paper, they usually used the “flat pressing” method like stamping, but tomorrow when making honeycomb paper, they will use the “hob knife” technology, which is similar to the principle of printing. The paper roll is fed into the machine to cut out the honeycomb paper. Keng said that when the die is set properly, tomorrow’s production method can reduce waste and improve production efficiency compared with the flat pressing method. After the honeycomb paper was manufactured, Keng’s cousin asked Keng, who was engaged in the advertising industry at the time, to help make a teaching video on the use of honeycomb paper. Keng, who knew the connotation of honeycomb paper, believed that honeycomb paper met the goal of sustainable issues, and in a place where honeycomb paper is scarce In the Taiwan market, it is also competitive in the market, so it decided to create a brand for the honeycomb paper produced by the family, and take over the follow-up business of marketing, media exposure, logistics and distribution. Most of the honeycomb paper on the market in Taiwan is imported from abroad. NextPack Tomorrow Business is the only brand in Taiwan that produces honeycomb paper locally. Through the patented manufacturing process of cutting dies, it saves a lot of waste and waste electricity.
Find sustainable new materials to reduce carbon for the earth
The honeycomb paper currently produced by NextPack uses FSC-certified paper sources. FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainable forests and is responsible for certifying wood products from “well-managed forests”. FSC ensures that biodiversity, productivity, and natural ecology are maintained as much as possible during the process of felling trees, and is committed to helping local communities maintain long-term labor needs, allowing residents to participate in planning and managing sustainable forests, and expecting to do so without sacrificing the environment Under the circumstances, use the planned system structure to create social benefits and realize the economic system. When it comes to the choice of paper materials, Keng said that he did not consider other paper sources at the beginning, because honeycomb paper itself is an environmentally friendly product. If some more sustainable choices can be made in paper materials, it will be closer to product demands. However, during the epidemic, China’s waste paper exports stopped, leading to an increase in international paper prices. On the one hand, NextPack hopes to control costs, and on the other hand, it hopes to maintain the strength of the material. In addition to trying other papers made in different ways or with different fiber lengths, NextPack is also actively looking for some different materials. For example, bamboo will grow much faster than trees, so in theory it will be better than trees in terms of carbon sequestration. , based on such environmental advantages, NextPack intends to use the paper made from the natural fibers of bamboo as a new material for honeycomb paper. In addition to using more environmentally friendly options in raw materials, NextPack also cooperates with the non-profit organization Trees for the Future, promising to plant a tree for the earth for every 1,000 meters of honeycomb paper sold, which is equivalent to selling 5 rolls of honeycomb paper. Just plant a tree. As of the beginning of this year, NextPack has successfully planted 500 trees. From planting to now, these trees have reduced 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide, and before these trees die or are cut down, they can reduce 125 tons of carbon for the earth.
Find partners with common goals to promote cross-border cooperation
In April of this year, NextPack will cooperate with the fundraising platform Beike Zoom to hold an event. Among them is a zero-waste project from production to packaging. Honeycomb paper is used as packaging, and through the exposure of other brands of products, not only the honeycomb paper itself , can also promote the concept of NextPack to the consumer side. Using the influence of the fundraising platform, NextPack hopes that in the discussion of sustainability-related issues, the participants on the platform will see the honeycomb paper of tomorrow. After consumers know and agree with the honeycomb paper, they will further push the honeycomb paper to the enterprise side. Encourage more companies to use honeycomb paper as a cushioning packaging material to reduce the use of plastic bubble wrap. “When all packages are using bubble wrap, but they are using honeycomb paper.” Keng said that he has collaborated with the well-known graphic designer Nie Yongzhen in the past on “Baibai Notebook”, using honeycomb paper as product cushioning packaging material, logistics In the process, the use of plastic bubble bags can be reduced, the brand’s green consumption experience can be completed, and consumers’ goodwill can be enhanced. At the same time, because honeycomb paper is relatively new to consumers, consumers can have a unique unpacking experience. NextPack has also cooperated with the Water Garden Organic Agriculture Market. The Water Garden Organic Agriculture Market mainly assists small farmers in Huadong to increase the added value of small-scale agricultural products. Because the target audience of small farmers is highly related to the target audience of environmental protection, it is packaged in honeycomb paper The products of these small farmers can make the products more complete. When NextPack is looking for business partners, it will first understand the brand spirit of the other party. When the brand spirit of these companies is more related to society, environmental protection or sustainability, it will be easier to focus on each other’s goals during cooperation. Keng said that when communicating with business partners, it is not so much about persuasion, but about seeking recognition. When the other party’s brand spirit itself has a sustainable component, and NextPack’s tomorrow’s business uses sustainability as a cut corner, both parties can form a resonance.
From awareness to recognition of the original intention of promoting environmental protection
“Most people who know honeycomb paper regard it as an aesthetic product.” Lisa Shi, NextPack Tomorrow Business Marketing, said that consumers still don’t know much about honeycomb paper and don’t know how to use it. Use materials like this correctly. The original intention of NextPack is to appeal for environmental protection. It is hoped that through localized production, resources will not be wasted. However, consumers have insufficient product background knowledge, which easily violates the original intention of environmental protection. Tomorrow Honeycomb Paper still needs to spend time explaining terms and communicating ideas in terms of promotion. In addition to leading the public to understand tomorrow’s honeycomb paper, NextPack also needs to exchange ideas when cooperating with business partners, because Taiwan’s laws and regulations have not yet mandated that e-commerce must reduce plastic, and most e-commerce will still choose relatively low cost. Bubble wrap that can produce the same cushioning effect. “How important is the concept of sustainability to a company?” Keng said, this is a problem that NextPack needs to overcome. In the future, NextPack also hopes to cooperate with the government to integrate environmental protection elements into local activities, because the government is more willing to participate in environmental protection actions than enterprises. Keng took Yingge ceramics as an example. Yingge ceramics is a local cultural event that has been going on for many years. Adding the elements of environmentally friendly packaging materials can make the event more special. For NextPack, they can also have a bigger push force.
interview side note
Keng and Lisa are young entrepreneurs. Both of them are very enthusiastic. Although the company has just started, they have many action plans for their goals and are willing to share with us the future plans they are preparing. It is hoped that through the report, more people will know about honeycomb paper, and support NextPack’s concept of tomorrow’s business, and integrate environmental protection into daily life together.