The focus on corporate values has always been an essential part of the WEPA Group’s success. Therefore, in 2021 a project began with the intention of reducing the size of the multipacks, while maintaining the quality of the product. This trend originated in the kitchen towel industry, as larger rolls were needed to satisfy consumer behavior. As a result, the WEPA UK production team explored how this trend could be applied to bathroom tissues.
Tesco, one of the UK’s largest retailers with over 2,700 stores, was the first customer to work on this project together with the company.
“It was clear from the outset that Tesco shared our commitment to sustainability. This dedication helped to drive the project in the second half of 2021,” the company commented on its website.
When manufacturing these tighter wound rolls, there were several technical challenges to be overcome at WEPA UK’s Bridgend facility:
- Reduce the level of relief, but maintain an aesthetic appeal
- Test and test the optimal diameter for the roll.
- Speed up the process and reduce rewinding by 50%
“We decided a 12-pack the right format for the first packs. This reduced the bulky 24 multipacks, while maintaining the same amount of paper. The reduction comes from tighter winding, which expels over 20% of air within the roll,” explained the company.
The current strain on the supply chain in the UK also added pressure to complete this project. In particular, driver availability and the need to keep shelves fully stocked in the Christmas quarter. So, the WEPA team worked quickly to meet the accelerated launch requirements.
“As we implement our global strategy in 2022 this project exemplifies our flexibility and commitment to our sustainability goals,” the company stated.
SUCCESS IN PRINTING
The success of this project was such that it has recently been covered by the British press, including The Independent and The Grocer. The main achievements of this project include:
- Reducing the number of cores needed by half
- Reducing the size of the pack, making it easier to carry and store
- A slight decrease in retail price for the consumer (remove less packaging)
- Reduction in transport resulting in over 800 fewer trips a year from the source
- The process will continue into other pack sizes, saving Tesco a reported 67 tons of plastic packaging a year.
Each of these achievements perfectly highlight the three pillars of WEPA’s strategy for future working:
- Ensuring the long-term economic success of its partnerships
- Working towards the preservation of natural resources
- Considering how its work impacts on society