5 Sept 2007
Hong Kong Packaging(HKTDC Packaging, Vol 02,2007)
|Hip Lik Packaging Products Fty Ltd uses top-quality PP and PET from Europe, the US and Japan in its trendy and durable boxes|
As the impact that packaging has on the environment increasingly comes into the spotlight, hong kong manufacturers are rising to the challenge by producing eco-friendly packaging for a wide variety of products
Leading the charge for eco-friendly packaging is Hip Lik Packaging Products Fty Ltd, a 38-year veteran of the industry and an acknowledged leader in transparent plastic packaging, including PP and PET boxes, folding boxes, die-cut plastic products, blisters and tubes.
"Our materials do not pollute the environment and can be recycled," says Ringo Chen, manager, strategic management and operation, adding that PET is an environmentally-friendly material that is degradable, recyclable and free of toxic gases during production.
"Our PET printing machines are fully automatic," Chen says. "We can print eight colours per run, which reduces the chance of scratching. Many other producers use only four- or six-colour printing machines."
Another Hip Lik advantage is an easy-crease effect that makes PET boxes firm and elegant. "Our fully automatic machines ensure production speed and quality," says Chen.
The ISO 9001-certified firm sources PET and PP from leading suppliers in Europe, the US and Japan, and operates a 200,000-square-metre, 800-worker factory in Shenzhen. A new factory that will be four times bigger is scheduled to start operations in 2008.
The current daily production capacity is 500,000 plastic boxes. Minimum order is 5,000 units or US$1,500 in order value, and the delivery time is 2-6 weeks after sample confirmation.
Also looking to benefit from eco-friendly demand is five-year-old Direct-Pack Industries Ltd. "Growing environmental awareness among end-users is helping to fuel demand," says director Alex Sancey.
Direct-Pack produces recyclable, reusable luxury craft paper, paper bags and non-woven bags. "We use recyclable paper and our non-woven PP bags are made from recycled plastic bottles," claims Sancey, adding that Direct-Pack's entire range of ‘green' packaging materials is eco-friendly.
Sancey also notes that demand for non-woven eco-friendly bags has risen since the ‘I am not a plastic bag' carrier, designed by Anya Hindmarch, was launched as an alternative to plastic bags.
"Clients are looking for sophisticated designs and finishes," Sancey says. "For example, distinctive handles and high-quality individualised print finishes are popular."
The company's products are mainly exported to Europe, and the minimum order is 3,000 units for luxury paper wrapping items.
In addition to producing eco-friendly packaging, Hong Kong firms are also paying attention to what goes into the products. "All waste material from our factory is recycled," says managing director May Wong at Polywell Industrial Co.
Polywell's products include PE plastic bags, PP packaging and PP woven and non-woven laminated bags that are mainly exported to Australia, Canada, Europe and the US. Monthly production currently stands at about 300,000 PP woven and non-woven laminated bags and about 500 tonnes of PE bags.
"We are doing 100% testing of our biodegradable bags at the moment," informs Wong. "We also offer 4C processing design and coating on our PP woven bags that were previously restricted to blue and red stripes. This type of bag is very strong, looks good and can be reused many times."
The ISO 9001-certified, 16-year-old firm has an eight-floor, 8,000-square-metre factory employing 300 workers in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland. The minimum order is 5,000 units delivered 30-40 days after order confirmation.
Trays and PET boxes are a particular strength at Flocking Industrial Co, a 19-year veteran of the packaging production industry.
"Our customers want boxes with offset printing and a transparent window so that, in turn, their customers can see the actual product inside," explains sales manager William Cheung.
"We have developed a sparkle printed effect, which is popular with customers in the Middle East and the US," he adds, noting that the firm's clients include Christian Dior, Revlon and Sony.
Materials such as PET and PP are sourced mostly from Taiwan and Korea for processing at a 40,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen that requires minimum orders of 5,000 units.
"One of our key strengths is our fast turnaround time, which means orders can be delivered 7-10 working days after confirmation," claims Cheung.
Hang Tat Plastic Mfr is another company that prides itself on operating within tight turnaround times.
"On-time delivery, efficiency and good quality control are three key elements that existing clients and new clients appreciate," says sales manager Fanny Lo. "Materials used in our non-woven shopping bags have passed the EN71 test, which is the US and European standard."
The 18-year-old firm, which has a 4,000-square-metre factory and employs 200 workers in Zhongshan on the Chinese mainland, also produces foil and vacuum bags. "Our products are either reusable or recyclable," claims Lo.
For MCM Rentai Non-woven Products Co, new technology allows the firm to provide its clients with a wider, more colourful selection of non-woven bags.
"About 90% of printing capabilities used on paper bags can be reproduced on non-woven bags," says CEO Maurice Chow. "We also have an in-house R&D team that continually produces new styles. However, much of the design and printed finishing is often based on customers' specifications."
The minimum order quantity is 1,000 units, depending on the colour and size, for delivery 10-15 days after confirmation. Cost per item depends on colour, size and quantity. Production takes place at a purpose-built facility in Guangzhou on the mainland. "Our main markets are Hong Kong, Japan and Europe," says Chow.
Hong Kong companies are clearly well-placed to provide eco-friendly packaging solutions.
TEXT BY CHRIS DAVIS
Hang Tat Plastic Bags Mfr
Flat A, 10/F, Blk 2
Kingswin Ind Bldg
32-40 Lei Muk Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories