For our series ‘From Factory to Trees', we interview several of our partners in the packaging chain. This time we had the pleasure to interview Sven Brands, working as a Sales Associate intern (Benelux) at Seaman Paper.
Seaman Paper offers a portfolio of eco-friendly and custom tissue paper packaging alternatives to single-use plastic packaging. Seaman Paper originated in Chicago, Illinois. It was formed by three Seaman brothers and George Jones. The company filled a need between the paper mills and the printers and converters, and at one point was the largest paper merchant house in the United States.
1. Can you tell us something about yourself and Seaman Paper? How did it start and what is your role in the company?
My name is Sven Brands, 21 years old and recently started my internship at Seaman paper Europe GMBH. I am a bachelor student of Business Administration and have prior to my internship worked part time as a sales rep for SP. I am currently in a sales position where I take care of the sales for the Netherlands and partially Benelux, working directly under the responsible person for these markets as my direct supervisor, Nathalie.
2. Seaman Paper is a supplier of decorative and protective light-weight paper solutions Over the last 2 years, Corona has obviously changed this sector. What have you noticed?
During the covid period, there have been restrictions regarding the production and office people. A certain amount of people were allowed in the office which reduced the production volumes, and all the internal sales people and managers had to work from home. During the covid period the paper prices have also surged which had a large impact on cost price and selling prices. Internally, we work internationally an therefore some of us were already used to the regular online meetings.
3. At ZeroPackaging, sustainability is the main focus. What’s Seaman Paper’s vision regarding sustainability?
We are a paper converter and paper-product manufacturer and we are a very sustainably focused company. First of all, our vision is to replace single-use and virgin plastic on the market by 100% paper-based, 100% recyclable and FSC or PEFC certified paper products. We also make our facilities greener by covering all our rooftops with solar panels and that way reducing our carbon footprint. We target all customers that are using or looking to replace plastic products within our product range.
4. Can you describe a project in which you have been involved with sustainability?
During my internship I have been slightly involved in a new product of ours, Paper stretch wrap. Next to that, a part of my internship is a project which focuses on the waste management systems in different countries.
5. What do you think are the biggest misconceptions about sustainability in the retail sector?
Bio plastics. Most bio-plastic producers and sellers claim that we can recycle it and that is good for the environment and also having the benefits of plastic which is a really strong material. However, a lot of the bio-plastics on the market is not recyclable, and if it is, it is extremely hard to recycle do to multiple components that are converted in these plastics in most scenarios.
6. Which current technology or trend do you think has the most positive impact on long-term sustainability?
When it comes to the energy sector, nuclear energy. When it comes to the materials market, I think both paper and in the future, carbon dioxide based products or solutions will play a big role in what the market will look like.
7. What do you think the world will look like 10 years from now when it comes to sustainability? And what do you hope it will look like?
To be honest, I do not have an image of what the world will look like 10 years from now since innovation is speeding up at a rate that it is hard to foresee what comes next. I hope that the goals for climate change will be reached, but most importantly, that humans start to preserve bio-diversity and take care of animals more which might even have a bigger impact on the planet then people think.
8. What is Seaman Paper’s role in this?
We, as Seaman Paper, hope to contribute to replace virgin and single-use plastics on the market with a sustainable alternative, paper. We hope to convince people to switch their consumption materials to a more sustainable alternative, paper, and reduce their carbon footprint this way. We hope to take a big part in the sustainable transition when it comes to material consumption.