This week’s coverage is dominated by consumables, from paper shortages in the US to disruption of Konica Minolta’s toner supply. Meanwhile there’s news on plastic recycling from Mexico and plastic waste collection from South Africa.

Nessan Cleary · Journalist & Editor · Week commencing 27th September 2021

Sprinter reports that the Australian MIS developer PrintIQ is cutting its Australian sales and marketing teams in favour of setting up local teams in its main overseas markets, particularly the US and UK, to expand further in those areas. The company will retain its headquarters in Australia and New Zealand.

Print21 has picked up on an interesting report from Bloomberg that the growth in online shopping has led papermakers in the US to switch to making boxes, which are more lucrative, causing a shortage of catalogue grade papers. This is compounded by the pandemic’s disruption of global supply lines and rising demand for Christmas catalogues.

Inkjet Insight, based in the USA, has also reacted to the paper shortage issue, adding that there has been some rationing, and is helpfully offering a paper exchange service for the US. This allows readers to list the paper stocks they need, and printers to list the excess stocks they have.

Meanwhile, Printweek India reports that staff from two paper mills in Assam have yet to be paid, despite the mills having closed in 2015 due to “a shortage of working capital”. The story says that the government had promised to restart these mills and that there is a clear demand for India-made paper.

Indian Printer and Publisher has covered Konica Minolta’s toner supply problems, noting that there was a fire in July and explosion in August at the Tatsuno Factory in Japan which mainly produces toner for production printers, and leading to risk assessment slowing production at a second Japanese toner factory in Kofu.

Labels and Labelling writes that Nestle has signed an agreement with Greenback Recycling Technologies, based in the UK, to build a chemical recycling plant capable of processing flexible plastic packaging in Mexico where plastic waste is not currently recycled. The plant will convert the waste to oil feedstock to produce new plastic.

The Gapp Magazine of South Africa reports on the success of the International Coastal Clean-Up Day from earlier in September, which is organised annually by Plastics SA and collected items such as plastic bottle tops. It appears that increasingly pro-active local communities also help to keep beaches and rivers clean.

The Italian title Converter reports that Korber has marked its 75th anniversary by giving €1000 each to 75 local projects and organizations worldwide including five associations in Italy through Korber’s Business Area Tissue division. The five beneficiaries were a primary school, paediatric hospital, a biotech project, a stroke foundation and WWF Italy.

From Canada, Graphic Arts Media writes that large format printer Global Imaging, based in Mississauga in Ontario, has installed a Kongsberg C64 digital cutting table with automated board feeder and stacker to enable it to be both faster and more creative in the finishing options it can offer to its customers.

ME Printer has an upbeat story on Sozan Abdullah Akeel, a Saudi woman who has challenged the male-dominated print industry by founding Net-A-Print in 2019 and talks about opportunities for women in print. She has been supported by Saudi Xerox, having invested in an Iridesse digital printer.

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