Investments in sustainable materials for Walki in Wroclaw

Walki has been a leader in developing fibre-based sustainable packaging for many years and is now investing in its existing plant at Wroclaw as consumer packaging trends and regulations are driving the transition towards circularity and carbon-footprint reduction.

“The demand for sustainable packaging is growing and we are expanding our portfolio and capacities to answer to this demand,” explains Bartlomiej Engel, Head of Production Cluster South, Consumer Coating, Walki.

The two-stage investment project targets rigid and flexible consumer packaging focusing on specific functionalities to protect ingredients while transitioning towards new sustainable packaging specifications.

The first phase entails a streamlined production facility for barrier-board packaging including a new sheeting and finishing machine, as well as expanded building capabilities for production and logistics inaugurated on 16 January, 2024.

In a second phase, Walki plans to invest into new technologies to manufacture fibre-based mono-material packaging with ultra-high-barrier requirements.

With the first part of the investment entailing the sheeting machine, Walki’s Wroclaw plant will expand the offering to value-added barrier-board packaging. Together with its sister plant in Germany at Steinfurt, Walki will have a great manufacturing set-up for such packaging materials in Central-Eastern and Western Europe.

“This investment will enable us to make highly functional fibre-based packaging both for the food industry as well as the detergent segment. We are also glad to being able to offer this on the still growing local Polish market,” explains Engel.

As capacity will be substantially increased, Walki has also expanded its warehouse capabilities to allow for more space, offering improved flexibility and shorter delivery times.

“We are taking over a new part of the existing plant building, almost doubling the size of our warehouse capabilities. This will greatly reduce the so-called supply chain length time and we can keep a safety back up stock and guarantee direct deliveries within 24 hours,” says Engel.

With the new capabilities, the Wroclaw plant will mainly supply to customers located in Central and Eastern Europe, making logistics easier and significantly cutting CO2 emissions due to shorter transporting distances. In addition, the new extension includes modern and sustainable maintenance solutions such as photovoltaics, heat pumps and zoned led lighting.

On 16 January, Walki hosted an opening event for the first stage of the investment During the day customers and partners were taken on a site tour and also had the chance to meet Walki’s CEO, Leif Frilund and the management group.

Left to right: Nikolaus Wolfram, Leif Frilund and Bartlomiej Engel.

Once these investments are finalised, the Wroclaw plant will be state-of-the-art when it comes to sustainable production of materials for food packaging. Sustainability is also a top priority regarding the operations of the plant.

“At the Wroclaw plant we have always been mindful on operating it as sustainably as possible with over 70 % of the electricity being provided by wind and solar energy. We have photovoltaic panels on the roof and special heating pumps utilising green power to provide heat and lighting,” concludes Engel.


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