Circular Economy – The New Normal

Print and packaging are leading the charge for customer centric sustainability

For almost a decade, major global corporations have been shifting their business models, re-evaluating their strategies and asking more questions about where they source their materials. COVID-19 has revved this conversation up and the printing industry has once again stepped up to drive sustainable customer centric solutions.

“2020 could not be a better time to adopt this thinking. Print has always been fundamentally based around sustainability and the principles of a circular economy” says Lachlan Finch, Director, Rawson Print Company (RPCo.).

So, what is a circular economy and what does it look like? The premise rests on sustainability, an ethos that is likely to become more prevalent as we transition into what has been coined ‘The Great Economic Reset’ – thanks to the challenges of COVID-19.

Traditional perspectives that the printing industry is environmentally unsustainable are far from the truth. In fact, at its essence, printing is circular: trees are planted and harvested for paper, processed into an end product, distributed, recycled, biodegraded back into the ground – with replacement trees planted in an ongoing, cyclical process.

Adds Finch: “Clients want to feel empowered by the impact of their purchasing decisions, that’s why it’s more important than ever for print and packaging manufactures to not only provide environmentally sustainable solutions, which they have done for decades, but to also communicate these environmental credentials through the use of visual icons such as recycled and FSC logos and labelling. It is incumbent on us to demonstrate our effectiveness in the circular economy so consumers can be vindicated in their choices.”

According to Two Sides (a not-for-profit global initiative promoting the unique sustainable attributes of print and paper), well-managed forests planted for the printing industry actually reduce the pressure placed on natural forests and can provide many other environmental benefits.

This year, the not-for-profit completed a European survey of 5,900 consumers, commissioned by research company Toluna. The report shared key findings that identify paper and cardboard ranking highest with consumers for sustainability attributes, including home compostable (72pc), better for the environment (62pc) and easier to recycle (57pc).

In May 2020, The Conversation ran an article citing the European Commission’s vow to build a sustainable circular economy post-pandemic: ‘A sustainable circular economy involves designing and promoting products that last and that can be re-used, repaired and remanufactured’.

This sentiment is shared by the Australian print industry, increasingly driven by a focus on reducing their carbon footprint while delivering an attractive product. Similar to print,  packaging manufacturers are focused on their impact in the circular future. Examples of the drive for sustainable solutions are near boundless: from Coca-Cola’s transition from plastic wrapping to a fully recycleable paperboard topper for its multipacks, saving 3,000 tonnes of CO2 annually1, to the implementing of cellulose films for carton windowing and company such as Nestlé pleading to to make 100 percent of ALL its product’s packaging recyclable or reusable by 20252.

It’s heartening to see businesses proactively seeking out new ways of working. As businesses shift their thinking to align with broader social and environmental issues, the problems caused by our material world become glaringly obvious to consumers. As businesses question conventional practices, innovation will manifest through sustainability and circular economy initiatives.

Knowledge of the day-to-day impacts of irresponsible manufacturing and consumption, and of the potential benefits offered by the circular economy movement, is gaining traction, and fast. As printers, we must play our part. RPCo. prioritises sustainability because we believe we should be accountable to our clients, our customers and to the environment. You can find out more about our sustainability practices here.

  1. Packaging Europe – Coca-Cola announces sustainable paperboard topper for multi-pack cans. See full article
  2. Reader’s Digest – 22 Big Companies That Are Getting Rid of Plastic for Good. See full article

RPCo.’s role in Anti-Counterfeiting

How the printing sector is playing a key contributing role in the Anti-Counterfeiting Industry

In 2018, AP News reported that by 2017 the cost of global counterfeiting reached $USD1.2 trillion. It went on to forecast growth to hit $USD1.82 trillion this year. It follows that according to Global Newswire, the world’s anti-counterfeiting packaging market is set to reach $USD105.86 billion during 2020-2024. These are staggering numbers.

Bringing the issue back home, in 2019 the Sydney Morning Herald reported that Australian companies are in the top 20 of those most commonly affected and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) estimated exports sent to other markets in the period 2016-2019, increased by 8 per cent.

The stats paint a fairly bleak picture, making clear the seriousness of the issue and the need for all businesses who are involved in the supply chain to make a difference where they can. We believe this calls for a proactive response from the printing industry, domestically.

Deciding to be part of the anti-counterfeiting solution

The variety of solutions and the anti-counterfeiting technology available to brands is impressive. For Rawson Packaging Co. (RPCo.) it’s been an interesting journey so far. We are strategically integrating our own anti-counterfeiting technology thereby providing another realm of value add for clients who’ve come to us for their printing and packaging needs. Both digital and offset solutions are available and we’re excited that in the longer term we will be able to assist a range of clients in this specialist area.

“The variety of solutions and the anti-counterfeiting technology available to brands is impressive. For Rawson Packaging Co. (RPCo.) it’s been an interesting journey so far.” – Lani Draheim account manager Rawson Print Company.

If our current live packaging and print projects with an anti-counterfeiting component are anything to go by, this problem isn’t going away too soon. A large proportion of enquiries are from Australian brands that are experiencing counterfeiting challenges on the ground in China. This points to the very real concerns that Australian brands are facing offshore alongside their global brand counterparts whose own issues tend to be the ones we hear about in the news.

Counterfeiting affects almost every sector

As anti-counterfeiting measures become more sophisticated, so too do the counterfeiting operations –  and there’s no market that’s immune. From the most popularly copied products – electrical goods, fragrances, cosmetics and sneakers – to fake batteries, telephone accessories, sunglasses, toothbrushes and personal care products. More and more brands are realising this isn’t a problem exclusive to the luxury market as mainstream perceptions would have you believe.

Technology is helping us win the battle

The good news is the technology has evolved to by-pass even the most astute of the counterfeiting offenders. Invisible UV pigments combined with undisclosed short runs is one strategy that builds staged, anti-counterfeiting lines of defence, protecting products and brands.

Near Field Communication (NFC) and QR Codes are other well-documented methods that brand owners are using to assist with consumer authentication and in the long run, these methods lead to a building of consumer trust in their chosen brand. RPCo. is set up to offer NFC technology to clients, a process that involves placing individual stickers on the inside of each carton, thereby making each unique.

The QR code launched in 1994 for the Japanese automotive industry. We then spent years asking what their use was. Well, the anti-counterfeiting industry has this one wrapped up! QR Codes now work with Secure Graphics, a technology which is embedded into a digital image of a QR code, making it secure against copying/counterfeit.

A great example of the use of another anti-counterfeiting solution is microchip technology. Australian wine brand, Seppeltsfield, from the Barossa launched its Grounds range in 2019 in collaboration with a protection and consumer engagement company, YPB Group Ltd. Each wine label has the technology embedded into the wine bottle label and authentication is delivered to the consumer via an app.

The Australian print industry has seen vast quality improvements over the last two decades making it a lot less difficult for counterfeiters to bluff consumers. This undoubtedly presents an opportunity for the industry to supply and integrate technology into products locally. However, for everyday consumer goods, it’s not economically viable for many brands to afford the price of silicon-based electronics, therefore creating a swell of demand for lower-cost anti-counterfeiting technology.

There’s a raft of innovative ideas and products being brought to market. Holograms are another great example of this and are becoming increasingly more widespread in the manufacturing sector. 3D Verification, Serialisation ID technology and thin film technology applicable to packaging, labelling, plastic and metal products are all anti-counterfeiting solutions that brands are using. In all of these, printing capabilities are required.

We work together with our clients to tailor their own personalised anti-counterfeit solutions to suit their product range and brand. There is not one solution that suits all, so we assist in helping clients to find the right anti-counterfeit measures to ensure brand protection.

If you think your brand and print packaging might be susceptible to counterfeiters it’s worth having a conversation. We welcome your enquiry.

100% of packaging to be reusable by 2025

Compostability is a complex subject in the plastics debate. Recognising the difference between ‘certified compostable’ and ‘conventional plastics’ is just the start. It’s also crucial to understand the standards and certifications that apply, as well as potential applications, communication and labelling requirements. 

APCO’s ‘Considerations for Compostable Plastic Packaging’ – (developed in partnership with the Australian Organics Recycling Association (AORA) and the Australasian Bioplastics Association (ABA) – is an excellent resource.

It informs brand owners, packaging technologists, designers and food service providers about when and where to use certified compostable plastic packaging as well as helping with understanding the potential applications suited to the current and available infrastructure. 

We’ve pulled out 6 points of interest from the report that are food for thought:
  1. In Australia in 2017/18 compostable plastics accounted for 0.02% or 1,000 tonnes of all packaging placed on the market. Today, it is around 0.1% 
  2. For an item to be called ‘compostable’ it must be certified to the Australian Standard applicable to industrial and commercial composting facilities.
  3. Home composting is subject to a different standard called the Australian Home Composting Standard.
  4. All certified compostable plastics will biodegrade, but not all biodegradable plastics will turn into compost. 
  5. The Australian Industrial Composting Standard tests for earthworm survival to verify absence of toxic residues in organic output.   
  6. The Australian Bioplastics Association publishes all applicants who have conformed to the Australian Industrial Composting Standard.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic or if you’d like to chat about how we might be able to help with your next print or packaging project, please be in touch.

RPCO’s new Anti-Bacterial product

Antimicrobial Resistance

RPCO is always on the lookout for product innovations. Our latest is a market-first that offers protection against the spread of harmful bacteria for the intended full-life of a product. 

This exciting and independently tested technology has scientifically proven benefits for your customers that in turn enhance product value and drive commercial appeal. The perfect win-win to give you peace of mind! 

Biomaster antimicrobial technology can be applied to any printed sheet and is designed to inhibit the growth of harmful micro-organisms such as bacteria, fungi and moulds. A key advantage is its effectiveness over the intended lifetime of any product.

“Innovation is key to an evolving and progressive commercial printing industry. This partnership brings real benefits for our clients at a time when they need it most.”

We love the myriad of benefits this antimicrobial technology offers. In addition to the above these include:

  • Independently tested to ISO 22196.
  • Inhibits the growth of most types of harmful bacteria including common food-poisoning bacteria on treated surfaces.
  • Completely safe to use in food and water applications.

Laden with gold star safety credentials, this highly effective additive comes with the Biomaster logo, providing your customers with the seal of approval from the global market leader in antimicrobial technology.  Confidence by endorsement at its best.

Here are the top 5 key Biomaster FAQ’s to help with any unanswered questions:

How does Biomaster work? Biomaster binds to the cell wall disrupting growth. The Biomaster ions interfere with enzyme production stopping the cell producing energy. Biomaster interrupts the cell’s DNA preventing replication.

 How effective is Biomaster? Very. Biomaster is proven to inhibit the growth of microbes by up to 99.99%. These include bacteria, fungi and moulds. It’s also been proven to be effective against antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE).

 How long is Biomaster effective for? Biomaster is effective for the intended lifetime of the product to which it is added. It is built-in and doesn’t wear off or leach out. Nor can you see, smell or taste Biomaster. 

Is it safe? Yes. Not only has it been repeatedly tested to ISO standards but it is based on silver ion technology, recognised for centuries with no harmful effects. Biomaster is used in medical, food and water applications. We don’t use nanotechnology due to ongoing safety concerns.

How do I know if a product is Biomaster protected? Unless it carries the Biomaster symbol, you don’t know if it is protected. Ask before you buy it.

The art of making fine print matter

Putting great people and superior technology together means we can accommodate all of your print and packaging requirements. One, or one million pieces – paper or plastic – clients choose us because they know that we know, that fine print matters.

Take a tour of our factory and watch our people in action using the HP Indigo 10,000, the 2019 Heidelberg CX102 Offset Press and Aqueous Coater, the PUR Book Binder, the Saddle Stitch Booklet Maker, the Digital Stitcher, the Universal Folder-Gluer and the high speed Flat Bed Die-Cutter and Creaser.

Skill, passion and technology go a long way at RPCo …because fine print matters.

RPCO’s HP Indigo 10,000 – Meet Todd

Rawson Print Co have been delighted with the inclusion of the HP Indigo 10,000 into their suite of machinery. The Indigo 10,000 will provide clients with fast and flexible printing on sheet sizes up to B2. If you want to get personal, you will be amazed by the cost-efficient personalisation this machine offers. Speaking of personal, meet Todd – Chief Operator of our HP Indigo 10,000. Todd will ensure your print campaign delivers amazing results for you and your customers.


Q: Hi Todd, what’s your claim to fame?
A: I was the first person to be trained in Sydney on the HP Indigo 10,000!

Q: What’s your favourite colour?
A: Red

Q: What’s your favourite paper stock?
A: Knight Smooth

Q: Best job to go through the HP Indigo 10,000 and why?
A: Collated PUR book. Once printed the job is trimmed, we attach the cover then the job is finished. So much easier and quicker than traditional offset printing

Q: How do you think the HP Indigo 10,000 has changed printing?
A: Quick turn arounds allow us to meet tight deadlines and customer needs.

Q: What aspects of printing are you still fascinated by?
A: Seeing the end product of a finished job after going through the whole process

Q: What’s your passion away from printing?
A: Playing golf

Q: What can’t you say no to?
A: My daughter

Q: What three words would your friends use to describe you?
A: reliable, loyal, funny


RPCO Multiple Award Winners at 2019 NSW Printing Industry Creativity Awards (PICA)

The team at Rawson Print Co. were ecstatic to receive six Gold, two Silver and three Bronze medals at the 2019 NSW PICAs – an amazing recognition by the Printing Industry. The event was attended by 150 printers, with all Gold winners qualifying for entry into the National Print Awards to be held in August 2019. 

Winning 11 awards, across various categories, makes this the best year yet for Rawson Print Co. (at the NSW PICAs). This achievement would not have been possible without the incredible team at RPCo and our amazing clients. The partnerships created with our clients has allowed us to push boundaries and explore new techniques to develop beautifully crafted print and packaging solutions. 

Congratulations to our valued clients and thank you for your continued support!


QT Perth Suite
Category: Multi-Piece Productions and Campaigns
Client: Event Hospitality and Entertainment

QT Perth Suite
Category: Branding and Identity – Corporate, retail hospitality and fashion
Client: Event Hospitality and Entertainment

Tasti Smooshed Protein Balls Sampler Box
Category: Packaging
Client: Rocket Comms and Tasti Products NZ

Seventy One Singer Sewn Book
Category: Book Printing (Wiro/Spiral/Side Sewn/Interscrews)
Client: Horizon Print Management

ICC Sydney Art Collection Book
Category: Book Printing (Offset/Bound/Perfect/Notch/PUR/Section Sewn)
Client: Coleface Print

Platinum on Peach Tree Book
Category: Booklets/Catalogues/Magazines (Offset)
Client: Edward James / The James Agency


One Barangaroo
Category: Book Printing (Offset/Case Bound)
Client: Wordsearch

Newmarket Property Book
Category: Embellishment
Client: The Property Agency


Woolooware Bay Retail Book
Category: Book Printing (Digital/Case Bound)
Client: Rare ID

Eclipse Tower Book
Category: Booklets/Catalogues/Magazines (Digital)
Client: Wordsearch

ABC Annual Report – Volume I + II
Category: Annual Report/Prospectus and Yearbooks
Client: ABC


Rawson Print Co Soiree

Rawson Print Co kicked off 2019 in fine style with clients at Sails on Lavender Bay. With the magnificent backdrop of Sydney Harbour, RPCO clients and staff enjoyed an evening of fine wine, food and entertainment.

Andrew Price, Managing Director, welcomed clients and thanked them for a marvellous 2018. Andrew announced the company’s investment of two new presses, Heidelberg 5 Colour A1 Press with Aqueous Coater and the HP Indigo 10,000 B2 Press, demonstrating RPCO’s ongoing commitment to our clients. Six clients were presented with a special award in recognition of 20 years of fine printing with Rawson Print Co.

RPCO would like to thank our clients for the year that’s past and for attending the evening.

RPCO Time-Lapse Video: Installation of the Heidelberg CX-102

RPCo’s New Heidelberg

RPCO Time-Lapse Video: Installation of the Heidelberg CX-102

While many people took well deserved holidays over the Christmas period, a team of Heidelberg Elves were busy installing the latest addition to RPCo’s suite of machinery – the Heidelberg 5 Colour A1 Press with Aqueous Coater. See why this sleek new Press is such a BIG deal. Thank you, Santa!

2018 National Print Awards Australia

Rawson Awards

Rawson Print Co were the proud winners of two Gold and two Silver awards at the 35th National Print Awards held in Sydney on June 29, 2018.   The National Print Awards recognises the achievements of the Print Industry and sets a benchmark for excellence in Australia.

Gold, Packaging: Rawson Print Co – Revlon Eye Kit

The Revlon Campaign is a complete customised carton solution that includes an outer sleeve, insert, tray and an A5 product booklet. The packaging features scuff resistant matt celloglaze on all components, spot gloss UV to suit custom windows on outer sleeve and most importantly, a perfect house for the Revlon products inside.

Gold, Self Promotion: Rawson Print Co – Fuse Cookbook

To showcase an affinity between fine food and fine printing, Rawson Print Co collaborated with Fast Ed Halmagyi and developed a limited edition personalised commemorative cookbook – Fuse. With every turn of a page you are delightfully surprised with smell, colours, textures and weight, as food, print and design fuse into a delicious exploration of the senses.

Silver, Multi Piece Production and Campaigns: Rawson Print Co – QT Queenstown Suite

The amazing landscape and surrounds of Queenstown was paramount in the design for QT Queenstown suite of products. The complete suite included; keyholders, door hangers, postcards, notepads, envelopes, letterheads, with compliments, compendium set, cloakroom, luggage and valet cards. Rawson Print Co achieved consistent, high quality printing across all elements.

Silver, Booklets, Catalogues and Magazines: Rawson Print Co – Calibre (Surry Hills) Development Book

The Calibre Development Book is a unique and bespoke creation, designed to stand out in the property market. The book features custom mounted covers, PUR binding, and is filled with elegant imagery making it a pure delight to read.