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What if the most sustainable packaging is the one that disappears?

D-Sack® is the first plastic free cement sack that fully disintegrates and becomes part of the building material. When placed in the mixer, it binds the bio-based carbon of the paper and captures it in the construction – making the packaging itself a carbon sink. Packaging that disappear is a next level of innovation, leaving zero waste, and contributing to a more sustainable planet.

A seemingly small change can create great improvement. All over the world, new, more sustainable solutions are being created to reduce packaging that is harmful to the climate and environment. For decades, Billerud has been a driver of change in the packaging industry, creating innovative solutions for major global challenges. Through partnerships and cooperation with other companies, we work to tackle issues such as plastic littering and climate change.

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The partnership between the Lafarge Research Centre in Lyon and the BillerudKorsnäs Packaging Development Center in Karlsborg allowed the development of this new environmentally friendly packaging solution for cement bags and Magik (D-Sack) was born in our island, La Réunion.
Mickaëlle Atac, Marketing Analyst, Holcim Reunion

Construction generally generates a lot of waste in terms of empty cement sacks. In many parts of the world, the sacks used are made of plastic material – which contributes to harmful plastic pollution. In order to substitute plastic materials with renewable materials, Billerud has provided high quality paper for cement paper bags for a long time. However, we wanted to take it one step further, to reduce waste even more. To improve workers health, we developed D-Sack – a paper sack that disintegrates completely in the cement mixer, and disappears.

If we want to set sustainability as standard in our industry, we need to keep pushing innovation forward in order for sustainable products to become real solutions on the market. D-Sack is a great example of where we have succeeded with this.
Magnus Wikström, Executive Vice President Innovation at BillerudKorsnäs

D-Sack solves multiple painful problems by eliminating waste at construction sites, providing a cleaner and safer workplace and binding carbon. It removes CO2 from the atmosphere and contributes to a safe and healthy workplace, by providing better ergonomics and reduced exposure to cement dust for the builders working on the site. The sack is also plastic free.
D-Sack is superior to conventional cement sacks when it comes to climate performance. A life cycle assessment conducted by IVL (Swedish Environmental Research Institute) confirmed that D-Sack is a carbon sink in a hundred-year perspective. The CO2, which is bound during tree growth and then incorporated into the paper, remains in the concrete structure.
D-Sack is the perfect packaging solution. It does it’s job superbly all the way to the final customer and also to the end of it’s life. It’s a safe product, which leaves zero waste and is a carbon sink in a 100 year perspective.
Mark van der Merwe, Business Development Director Sack & Bag Paper at BillerudKorsnäs

Developing D-Sack has been a huge challenge –it needs strength and barriers that meet the demands of the entire supply chain, but it must also disintegrates during the mixing process. Getting to where we are today has required years of research, development work and testing. We are very pleased to have introduced D-Sack to the market, as it is now being used on construction sites in different parts of the world.

Providing packaging that integrates itself into the end product and leaves no debris for nature to digest is part of how Billerud is challenging conventional packaging with a sustainable future.

This innovative packaging has allowed us to provide superior value to our customers while strengthening our societal positioning in an island highly exposed to the issue of waste. This new cement sack was perceived by local consumers as a solution of value that meet their needs to protect their nature while saving time and raising comfort and effectiveness.
Mickaëlle Atac, Marketing Analyst, Holcim Reunion


Q&A D-Sack

What is the D-Sack?

D-Sack is the paper packaging that disappears. It is a cement sack that is introduced directly into the mixer and disintegrates completely during the mixing process, becomes part of the mix and eliminates the need to dispose of the used packaging.

What can D-Sack be used for?

The sack is suitable for packing of cement for the mixing of mortar and concrete. It has the same performance in terms of filling rates, moisture protection, strength, shelf life etc. as conventional paper cement sacks. Additionally it provide great advantages over conventional packaging.

What are the advantages of D-Sack over conventional cement sacks?

  • D-Sack is a sustainable packaging made of paper. It is made of renewable materials, contribution to building a sustainable society.
  • D-Sack is plastic free.
  • D-Sack disintegrates in the drum mixer, resulting in no packaging waste and the elimination of related transports and costs.
  • D-Sack has a much lower carbon foot print and is actually a carbon capture.
  • D-Sack improves the health of workers and eases work processes.
  • D-Sack helps minimise cement waste.

Is the sack biodegradable/compostable and recyclable?

Yes, the sack is made of biodegradable and compostable components. The sack will disappear in the mixer and become part of the final product. If there is however a need to dispose of empty sacks - the sack can be recycled in normal recycling systems.

How is the paper made disintegrateable?

The technology used to achieve this is patented and a secret.

What is the carbon footprint of the sack?

The D-Sack has 30 percent lower climate impact than conventional cement sacks and is a CO2 capture in a hundred-year perspective (confirmed in a life cycle assessment conducted by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute). The sack is CO2 positive because the CO2 that was bound during tree growth and incorporated into the paper remains in the concrete structure.

Why has Billerud developed the D-Sack?

The sack was developed in response to a clearly articulated need from builders to eliminate empty cement sacks and to improve worker health. Builders are also looking for a cleaner working environment, better ergonomics and reduced exposure to cement dust. Additionally the planet needs sustainable solutions that are plastic free and eliminate waste and CO2 emissions. The development of D-Sack is strongly aligned with our strategy of challenging conventional packaging for a sustainable future.

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Life cycle assessments and EPDs

We commission independent research institutes, such as IVL Swedish Environmental Research and RISE

WHAT IF packaging could just disappear?

We thought: What if that packaging could just disappear? So, we developed D-Sack® – the cement sack that disappears in the mixer.

Innovate together for sustainability

We cannot challenge the conventional alone - collaboration is key. Billerud is driving change through collaborations.