Ban on single use plastic spells change for packaging industry

Collection of plastic food packaging containers

In October 2018, the European Parliament voted in favour of a blanket ban on single-use plastics, including packaging.

The move was in a bid to tackle the problem that is causing significant damage to oceans.

The bill, which was introduced by the Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Frederique Ries, was passed by 571-53 votes.

The introduction and the passage of the bill come after the European Commission proposed a ban in May. In early October, the UK Government launched a consultation on banning the distribution and sale of plastic straws, drinks stirrers and cotton buds.

So what does this mean for suppliers?

Multinational giants from the consumer goods industry have pledged to ensure all plastic packaging be either recyclable or compostable by 2025 through plastic reduction strategies.

Subsequently, packaging suppliers will have to develop sustainable and functional remedies to the packaging solutions that previously utilised plastics. The difficulty will be in finding alternative solutions which mimic the durability properties of plastic in an environmentally supportive way.

Imerys Kaolin has long been an expert in the production of kaolin solutions for compostable packaging. Our products offer barrier solutions to paper and card which protect against oil and grease, moisture vapour and mineral oil, improving the mechanical properties of paper and card packaging. We are able to offer a customised, cost-effective, environmentally sustainable and optimum solution for barrier coating to meet specific performance requirements.

To find out more about Imerys Kaolin’s barrier solutions, visit our applications pages, or contact us to speak to an expert to find out more.


Imerys Kaolin announces price increases for 2019

22 October 2018

Imerys Kaolin announces price increases for kaolins in
Paper, Board and Performance Minerals applications

Imerys Kaolin announces price increases for its hydrous and calcined kaolins for Paper, Board and Performance Minerals applications, e.g. coatings, polymers, adhesives, pharmaceuticals etc.

Increases will be effective from January 1st 2019 and are subject to provisions in individual contracts.

Prices for hydrous kaolins will increase typically between 4 and 9% and prices for calcined kaolins will increase typically between 6 and 11%. Individual customers will be notified details of specific increase in due course.

Despite continued progress from Imerys’ internal efficiency programs, it is not possible to mitigate the significant impacts of escalating energy costs and increasing inflationary pressures on general mining, manufacturing,
regulatory and environmental compliance costs. In addition, 2018 has seen a decrease in the stability of consistent supply for many process chemicals, further driving exceptional cost increases. Customers purchasing on a delivered basis may see additional adjustments necessary to mitigate step changes in global and regional freight markets experienced through 2018 and into 2019. Imerys Kaolin continues to work with its haulage partners to offer highly competitive rates.

Imerys Kaolin remains committed to continued investment in its business to ensure the highest levels of product quality, stewardship and development to meet the future needs of its customers on a sustainable basis. Our goal remains to offer our customers cost-effective and value-added solutions.

Any questions from customers should be directed to their regular sales contact, and for any other enquiries or further information on Imerys Kaolin and its products, please visit


Let’s Talk: Little Greene

Sean Tormay, Chief Chemist from Little Greene discusses how Opacilite™ has helped to transform their formulations by improving performance and managing costs.


Q. Who are Little Greene?

A. Little Greene are an independent, British paint manufacturer who are highly committed to the environmental and socially responsible production of high-quality wallpapers and paint. We are particularly proud of our paints’ depth of colour, reassuringly high pigment levels give Little Greene paints an unequalled depth of colour and true point of difference. We also work in collaboration with the National Trust to find original colours used in historic buildings across the UK and tell the stories of the people who first enjoyed them.


Q. What are your core values as a paint manufacturer?

A. At Little Greene, we are committed to the protection of the environment through recycling and local manufacturing. For example, to reduce our waste production, we use recycled and recyclable materials in our work and products: our tins are made using over 50% recycled and recyclable steel, and all our paperwork is printed on sustainably sourced paper. We also manufacture entirely within the UK and actively source from suppliers who can match our commitments. This is how we minimise pollution and energy consumption, whilst supporting local business and communities. We also produce a range of Child Safe paints, these paints are completely safe to use in all areas of the family home making them perfect for nurseries and toys.


Q. What do you value in a supplier?

A. We always seek a reliable supplier who understands our needs, and who can offer good services, along with quality products. We also aim for local partnerships with like-minded industries that are equally committed to our core values.


Q. Why did you choose to work with Imerys Kaolin?

A. We chose to work with Imerys Kaolin because of the quality of their product. As we produce high-quality paints, we need to source the best ingredients for our formulations. Another key factor was their reliability and commitment to sustainability, service, and quality.


Q. What three words would you use to describe your experience working with Imerys Kaolin?

A. High-quality, reliable and consistent.


Q. Would you recommend Opacilite™ to other paint manufacturers?

A. Yes, at Little Greene, we recognise the changes and demands of modern paint manufacture in the UK and Europe. Our experience of using Opacilite™ has significantly advanced our paint formulations commercially and technically allowing Little Greene to continue to meet the requirements of the modern family home.



Q. What challenges did Little Greene face in the paint industry that led them to use Opacilite?

A. A key challenge we face as a paint manufacturer is the rising costs of raw materials; particularly as titanium dioxide is one of the most expensive and important materials used in our paint formulations. Discovering that Imerys Kaolin’s Opacilite™ could provide us with a significant reduction in the loading of titanium dioxide without altering the paint properties was very important to us.


Q. Why did Little Greene Paint Company select Opacilite over other TiO2 extenders?

A. Sourcing a range of leading calcined clays, the technical team at Little Greene performed thorough lab trials that tested each clay for titanium dioxide reduction in our coatings. The results showed that, compared to all other extenders, Opacilite™ performed extremely well with a total saving of 30% TiO2. The tests established that the unique structure of Opacilite™ is optimised for maximum light scattering, and the internal and external voids allowed for higher opacity compared to all other calcined clays tested. Opacilite™, as a flash calcined clay, was the most effective in titanium dioxide extension which is why it was selected as an essential raw material going forward.



Click here to see the full list of Imerys Kaolin Applications

Imerys Kaolin offers a choice of TiO2 extenders in Pitture e Vernici!

In the latest edition of Pitture e Vernici, Imerys Kaolinoffers a choice of TiO2 extenders for optimised paint performance.

Three of IMERYS Kaolin’s technical specialists, Anabelle Elton-Legrix, Peter Katholnig and Amandine Briand recently collaborated on a technical article for the Italian Journal Pitture e Vernici, April 2018 Issue.

 Imerys has a range of opacifying, matting and functionalised extenders with specific particle size, shape, chemistry…. Click here to read the full article.




Published on: September 3rd, 2018

Imerys for Brighter Smiles!

Representatives from Imerys Minerals Ltd recently visited the Carclaze Community Primary school. Over 420 pupils at Carclaze Community Primary School are improving their oral health after Imerys Minerals and Eco-Bos made a donation to Brighter Smiles – Cornwall’s oral health campaign.

This is one of the many ways Imerys Minerals Limited is able to give back to the community through donations.

Click here to read all about it.

Pictured from right to left:
John Hodkin from Imerys Minerals and Eco-Bos; Jenna Dixon, the Brighter Smiles oral health nurse; and teacher Jenny Wood with pupils from Carclaze Community Primary Academy with Dylan the Dragon!



Published on: August 28th, 2018 

A New Identity for Innovation!

Imerys launches new branding…from Par Moor Centre (PMC) to Imerys Technology Center (ITC) 

To highlight and promote our global approach to innovation, a new logo and visual identity has been developed!

The new brand best reflects our main purpose, what we believe in and where we are headed. The logo and strapline ‘Engine for Growth’ is a reflection of how innovation is at the heat of Imerys’ ambition and growth.

This new Innovation identity establishes ‘Innovation Gold’ as the key colour, clearly highlighting our fundamental purpose as the ‘Engine for Growth’. The ‘Innovation Globe’ with its faceted surface, representing Imerys’ world of minerals, breadth of expertise.

As a company, we have evolved and believe it was time our brand gets a new face. The Innovation group is composed of three pillars: Science & Technology, Business Innovation and Technology platform.

Thierry Materne – Chief Innovation Officer at Imerys, explains the importance of the centers for Imerys’ future:  “Our ITCs will be the home of our innovation clusters, as the teams shift from a tradition research and development approach to focusing on technology and developing scientific solutions for new markets”

This new identity marks a new chapter in our ongoing mission to better meet customers’ needs and develop relevant projects and products linked to worldwide market trends.

Pictured from right to left:

Philippe Bourg (VP & GM Minerals for Ceramics)Ashley Shopland (General Manager UK Platform)Frederic Beucher (Group Executive Vice President)Deeba Ansari (R&D Director for Kaolin Europe)Jeremy Hooper (Global Analytical & Infrastructure Director)Tony Asbridge (Commercial, Marketing & Product Development Director) and Yvonne Lister (Facilities Manager)



Published on: Aug 23, 2018 

Success, Challenges and Solutions at Middle East Coating Show 2018 – Exhibition Review

In its 25th year, the Middle East Coating Show remains the only paint exhibition of its kind dedicated to Middle East & Gulf Region while also hosting visitors from Africa, Europe and Asia. Held in Dubai, it is one of the major coatings industry events that Imerys Kaolin exhibits at around the world.

The Imerys team at MECS 18

Image (left to right): Peter Katholnig, Yusuf Valid, Ben Newman, Imran Shaukat, Ludovic Gorget, Tony Asbridge, Nabeel Ahmed, Faris Araktingi and Philippe Reygnier


Bringing together raw material and equipment suppliers, paint manufacturers and the latest technical research from around the globe; MECS celebrates the growing and prosperous coatings market in the region. The exhibition was a perfect opportunity to meet with customers both new and existing. Welcoming numerous visitors to our stand over the 3 days, the Imerys Kaolin team was busy with interested firms seeking advice on using Imerys Kaolin products to help lower TiO2 consumption, improve opacity and other properties in paint formulations.


Speaking to Yusuf Valid, Imerys Kaolin’s Turkey and Middle East Regional Sales Manager, he said “One of the biggest challenges in the region is sourcing high quality raw materials . Imerys Kaolins products and services are market leading and the technical benefits allow our customers to generate cost savings through TiO2 optimisation and other methods.”


With a wide portfolio of technical solutions, Imerys Kaolin is constantly developing new products and services to tackle the big (and small) problems.  Peter Katholnig, Imerys Kaolin’s Coatings Technical Service Manager, attended the show to meet with customers and provide clear expert advice. Research on “High Performance Titanium Dioxide Extenders for High-Gloss and Matt Coatings” was presented to a packed-out crowd at the Business Solutions Hub. A Q&A session followed with significant interest in Imerys Kaolin’s Optigloss XD and Neogen MX products.

PPCJ Interview

Ben Newman, Strategic Marketing Manager, at Imerys Kaolin answered questions at MECS 18 on the GCC region, its challenges and opportunities:


Q  How has the GCC market fared over the past 18 months?  Which markets have grown or contracted?

A Driven by a strong construction market, the GCC region’s demand for paint, coatings and other products has propelled over the past 18 months. Likewise, Imerys Kaolin has supported an increasing requirement in the region for high quality and consistent kaolin products throughout this period. However, one market driver has had a major impact on our paint and coatings customers; the continued increase of global titanium dioxide prices for industrial applications. Significant fluctuations in the price and availability of titanium dioxide has made the decision to optimise TiO2 usage using Imerys Kaolin’s advanced TiO2 extenders the most logical choice. Within the Imerys Kaolin extender range, OpaciliteTM, engineered specifically for this application, is proven to reduce titanium dioxide loading by up to 30%. This product has significantly outperformed the rest of the market by providing the largest titanium dioxide savings for our customers across the globe. Without compromising on performance, our paint and coatings customers have eased their dependency of TiO2 and have further benefitted through Imerys Kaolin’s technical, customer and supply excellence.

Q What have been the major challenges you have faced in the past 18 months? 

A  Over the past 18 months, changes in the global sea freight environment have put pressure on the export industry. The restructure of major alliances and consolidation of shipping routes have created the need to increase planning windows for shipments and additional cost pressures globally. Imerys Kaolin’s dedicated logistics team operates a vigilant approach in the way it monitors the shipping environment to ensure it maintains its high levels of customer service and reliable supply.  

Q What new products have you introduced, and how has the market reacted? 

A  Imerys Kaolin recently introduced two exciting products to the GCC market; Optigloss™ XD and NeoGen® MX. These new products, with added functionality, broaden Imerys Kaolin’s world leading range of kaolin extenders for paints and coatings.  The reaction of the market to the new product developments has sparked strong interest from the Gulf region in particular. Optimising titanium dioxide in gloss paints has been a market challenge for a long time; now Optigloss™ XD is able to extend TiO2 in high gloss paint systems without detriment to paint performance or gloss.  Meanwhile, NeoGen® MX improves TiO2 usage in matt wall paints while maintaining mechanical properties and offering outstanding scrub resistance.

Q  What do you estimates value of the GCC market? Is 2018 looking like a positive year for your business?

A For 2018, Imerys Kaolin looks to continue to work closely with its customers in the GCC region as it experiences sustained growth.  Through strong professional relationships and technical support, Imerys Kaolin will continue to be the partner of choice for paint manufacturers throughout the GCC region looking to optimise costs and improve competitivity.


Published on: Jun 13, 2018


2018 Spotlight Interview – Meet the team

Full Name: Simon Spurr

Job: Business Development Manager

Department: Commercial

Describe your role:

My role at Imerys Kaolin is quite varied but is concentrated on the Performance Minerals markets (Coatings, Polymers & Specialties). It falls somewhere between sales, marketing and technical, and I work closely with all 3 of these departments. I also manage our new product development (NPD) pipeline.

In three words, describe yourself.

Competitive, Enthusiastic, Confident.

What’s your favourite part about your job at Imerys? 

My favourite part of the role I have is its variety. I am lucky enough to have to travel all over the world in the job which I also enjoy. The commercial organisation within Imerys Kaolin  is an energetic but  close knit team. I have always played team sports and enjoy this dynamic.

Outside of work, what do you get up to? 

I still play (veterans) football and try to keep as active as possible. I am currently in training for the Imerys half marathon and the Eden Classic bike ride, (both events hosted around the kaolin mining area in Cornwall, UK) in May. When the weather warms up I will also get back in the Cornish waters and so some surfing, which is something I enjoy immensely. With four children and two dogs, I do not have much time for anything else…

Which Imerys Kaolin product would you recommend to a customer and why? 

I have a personal favourite and that is Opacilite! I started my career at English China Clays (ECC), which ultimately became Imerys. During my time at ECC I worked in the laboratories and was heavily involved with the development work to produce this flash calcined clay. It is now Imerys Kaolin’s leading titanium dioxide extender for coatings and I am currently looking for new markets and applications for this unique flash calcination technology.

What market issues do you see impacting 2018 and how do you think it will be overcome?

I believe the largest issue in 2018 for the markets we serve will be the continuing issues with titanium dioxide (TiO2). The rising price of TiOseen in 2017 does not seem to reversing and this will continue to force producers to look at ways of extending it, which is great news for Imerys! There are also some legislative concerns surrounding TiOwhich have led to a number of enquiries from quite diverse customers looking for complete alternatives.

What is the best advice you’ve been given?

To be myself.



Published on: Apr 30, 2018

IMERYS Kaolin feature at AITIVA DAY

IMERYS Kaolin’s Coatings Technical Manager Peter Katholnig, recently presented at the second AITIVA day (Associazione Italiana Tecnici Industrie Vernici e Affini – Italian association of technicians in the paint industry).

The conference took place on December 5th 2017 in Piacenza, Italy and focused on the extension of TiO2 in paints and coatings.

In his presentation, Peter addressed several ways to optimise TiO2 and reduce formulation costs by using IMERYS Kaolin’s advanced TiOextenders.

IMERYS Kaolin offers an extensive range of TiOextenders as well as technical support to implement their use in your formulations.

Above is an image of Peter during his presentation at the AITIVA day.

To see the full list of products please click here.  To contact IMERYS Kaolin for more information on how our products can help you reduce your cost, please contact us at:


Published on: Feb 5, 2018

Have you read the new APCJ Technical Article?

Two of IMERYS Kaolin’s UK platform technical specialists, Anabelle Legrix and Peter Katholnig, recently composed a technical article for the Asia Pacific Coatings Journal, December 2017 issue. The article discusses the excellent benefits of using IMERYS Kaolin’s products to optimise TiO2.

Click HERE to read the full article



Published on: 16 Jan 2018

Product Spotlight


Supreme™ premium kaolin from IMERYS gives multiple benefits when used in decorative matt wall paints, functioning both as an opacifying extender and also as a rheology modifier.
For further information please click here