DS Smith adds plastics replacement researcher
Dr. Susana Acejo.
Photo provided by DS Smith.

DS Smith adds plastics replacement researcher

U.K.-based packaging firm to emphasize R&D toward using paperboard packaging as a substitute for plastic.

February 26, 2020

London-based DS Smith has announced the appointment of Susana Aucejo as senior research and development (R&D) director to lead the company’s work on plastics replacement and the development of what it calls innovative barrier solutions.

The global packaging firm states, “As some of the world’s leading companies look to raise their environmental credentials by investing in sustainable packaging solutions, Dr. Aucejo’s expertise will be crucial to further develop DS Smith’s recyclable corrugated range.”

The company says Aucejo’s work will focus on the strategic development of technologies to enable paper-based solutions to withstand significant temperature variations, oxygen contact, moisture, water vapor and fatty substances. She will lead R&D activity focused on “developing creative and sustainable options for customers that have previously relied on plastics to keep their products safe,” states the firm.

“Single-use plastic is a huge issue globally,” says Aucejo. “With fiber-based packaging and applications that prevent water, grease or oxygen from getting to the products inside, there is a huge opportunity for growth in sustainable packaging. Fiber-based solutions can create lasting positive change. I look forward to being at the forefront of new developments in this area.”

Aucejo previously worked at Valencia, Spain-based Instituto Tecnológico del Embalaje, Transporte y Logística (ITENE), a private research institute specializing in packaging, logistics and mobility technologies. She spent 18 years there working as head of the packaging area and R&D director.

Work recently commissioned by DS Smith indicates that 1.5 billion metric tons of plastic per year in Europe’s supermarket aisles could be replaced with alternative materials. In response, DS Smith says it has developed more than 650 paper-based packaging options.

“Susana’s appointment is a testament to the focus DS Smith has put on developing innovative and creative solutions that will have the least amount of impact on our environment,” comments Magnus Renman, research and development director at DS Smith.