What customers say: Ecobliss

What customers say: Ecobliss, market leader in pharmaceutical and retail packaging

Ecobliss is the inventor of the environmentally-friendly cold seal packaging technology and Locked4Kids, the patented and certified childproof solution. The company has set up separate divisions for pharmaceutical and retail packaging. With regard to the pharmaceutical wallet packaging for blister strips and the Locked4Kids packaging, Ecobliss collaborates with De Budelse and KDS Stansvormen in Weert.

According to Commercial Director and co-owner Marijn van Utteren, Ecobliss began as a small home printing company. After inventing the technology for the environmentally-friendly cold seal packaging, the company from the Limburg town of Echt grew substantially. ‘In order to meet the rising demand for pharmaceutical packaging, we sought to expand the supply chain,’ is how Marijn van Utteren starts his story. ‘Via our supplier KDS Stansvormen we came into contact with De Budelse. Both companies had already established a satisfactory collaboration.’ 

🔺 Commercial director and co-owner Marijn van Utteren. 

Blister strips with cardboard packaging

Most Ecobliss customers opt for the sustainable and handy blister strips. ‘These strips come in a special cardboard packaging,’ continues Marijn van Utteren. ‘This type of packaging is important for two reasons. Firstly, it protects the blister strips and, secondly, it displays additional information concerning the medication. We engage the services of De Budelse for the printing of this packaging.’ ’ 

Childproof packaging

Furthermore, Ecobliss developed the unique childproof packaging Locked4Kids. Children will not succeed in opening this packaging. Adults, however, can easily do it. An ideal solution if the medication to be taken could prove hazardous to children. ‘The Locked4Kids boxes contain a plastic tray in which the blister strips are secured,’ explains Marijn van Utteren. ‘As a user, you must pull this tray outwards, as you would a drawer. To achieve this, you have to simultaneously press the two pressure points. Children do not understand how this way of opening a box works.’   

the box contains two pressure points, which must be pressed simultaneously, children do not understand how this opening works

A solution for each packaging job

Ecobliss handles the packing processes of a large number of clients and successfully so. In view of size, these companies vary from small to large pharmaceutical companies worldwide. In addition, Ecobliss GMP is certified where the packing of medicines is concerned. The company makes unique products, both with a cold seal or according to the Locked4Kids system. ‘For many pharmaceutical companies we have become a valuable supplier,’ concludes Marijn van Utteren. ‘After all, we don’t just supply the materials and required packing machines. We also offer clients the option of handling their packing activities for them. In other words, materials printed by De Budelse literally travel all over the world.’ 

Good coordination and collaboration

Marijn van Utteren is very pleased with the collaboration with De Budelse, which has only become closer since their first contact in 2019. ‘Ecobliss and De Budelse are medium-sized companies that consider quality of the utmost importance. On that basis we selected De Budelse. Moreover, it’s great to have De Budelse nearby as both a supplier and sparring partner. It also makes coordinating matters quite pleasant. Important fact: De Budelse has a “put your shoulder to the wheel and do what needs to be done” mentality, as does Ecobliss. This creates a great mutual bond as well.’ 

🔺 One of many examples of “cold seal” packaging.

Interview with Michaël Nieuwesteeg (NVC) about the future of medication packaging 

Medication packaging with pictograms and digital leaflets to combat environmental pollution  

The pharmaceutical industry is on the eve of a large breakthrough in the packaging of medication and medical devices. Behind the scenes and at the initiative of the NVC Netherlands Packaging Centre, various companies from the packaging sector decided to join forces. Being a packaging specialist, De Budelse became involved in this project. Michaël Nieuwesteeg of the NVC explains why it is so important to tackle the current packaging together and to determine innovative alternatives for the purpose of counteracting waste and environmental pollution. 

The NVC’s motto is Sharing the future in packaging. ‘The PUMA project is a powerful example of this shared responsibility to, as a corporate packaging community, put an end to emptied packaging as an environmental issue worldwide,’ Michaël Nieuwesteeg proceeds. ‘A project closely connected to this is the NVC innovation project Pharmaceutical Packaging Innovation, where NVC member companies investigate the possibilities of new and innovative packaging of medication and medical devices, among other things.’   

Counteracting waste

What information should be printed on packaging or must be unlocked via packaging, so that we can improve healthcare? ‘According to European guidelines it is mandatory for the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) to be supplied in the language of the country,’ Michaël Nieuwesteeg continues. ‘Patients must be able to read how to use their medication in their own language. Something that initially appears quite handy, but which at the same time results in numerous trees being felled for the purpose of printing huge quantities of patient and medication information that could easily fill libraries. We obviously wish to counteract that waste and it is hugely inspiring to see that innovators such as De Budelse wish to participate in this.’

🔺 Michaël Nieuwesteeg  NVC.

Interactive QR code or NFC chip

The addition of an interactive QR code or NFC chip is one of the spearheads of De Budelse. In view of the potential for both the environment and an improved healthcare, we fully support De Budelse regarding their developments. At the same time, there is a connection with projects we initiate in collaboration with other members. Thanks to the joining of forces, we are also talking to legislative bodies throughout the world,’ Michaël Nieuwesteeg continues. ‘In Europe that would be the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in Amsterdam. This is important, as not only the technology but also the social and legislative preconditions must be watertight. Such a digital addition being hacked doesn’t bear thinking about. Imagine scanning a code and ending up at a porn site or being shown the wrong instruction video. In this respect, pharmaceutical companies will do everything they can to limit any risks to an absolute minimum; for this they require a good legislation that encourages innovations and moderates any associated risks, so to speak. Or to say it more bluntly; they are scared to death of being faced with a claim for damages.’  

“verspilling willen we uiteraard tegengaan en het is geweldig inspirerend te zien
dat innovators als De Budelse hier ook in willen mee schakelen”

Unambiguous information

In order to limit risks, the unambiguity of the information on packaging is crucial. According to Michaël Nieuwesteeg, easier to understand pictograms will play an important role here in the future.  

In this regard, the NVC also collaborates with Japanese companies and institutions, if only to experience what it is like if you really cannot read a text at all. Furthermore, where ageing population is concerned, Japan is leading, with all its additional requirements regarding the packaging and information of medication. ‘I am pleased – and even vicariously proud – that NVC member De Budelse is doing pioneering work in this project where the digital printing of codes to unlock information is concerned,’ Michaël Nieuwesteeg states. ‘Readability, findability and uniqueness of codes is of paramount importance here. It is the only way to provide patients with relevant information and simultaneously improve healthcare.’ 

🔺 Patients should be able to read in their own language how to take a medication. 

Collect Control

There is an interesting crossover between the problems of the pharmaceutical industry and those of the environment. ‘Within the PUMA project, NVC members are working on ending packaging as a worldwide environmental issue,’ Michaël Nieuwesteeg explains in more detail. ‘We are not working on putting an end to packaging. But, to prevent packaging from becoming an environmental issue, it is important to know where all the emptied packaging ends up. Currently, 320,000 products are packed per second worldwide. The same quantity is added each second as emptied packaging. The trick is to control that flow, or rather, it’s about collecting (Collect) and using the correct Backend process (Control).’ 

In concrete terms, this means that we are going to start an international study, which will include the coding of medication packaging and the setting up of a backend process, informing us of their whereabouts. In this case the “consumer” is the patient. Due to its expertise, De Budelse plays an important role in this. The combination of unique coding, an understandable symbol and the correct QR code or NFC chip for access to online information ensures that patients know how to use their medication and devices and how to dispose of the packaging used in a responsible manner.’ 

“with a digital insert you can use an app to create a personal profile,
With an eye toward personalized care, this is a big step forward.” 
🔺 Yousri Acem, student Pharmaceutical Business Administration. 


Yousri Acem studies Pharmaceutical Business Administration at the University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht. As a thesis subject, he investigates the added value and possibilities of digital leaflets. Within the context of his study he is currently fulfilling a work placement at De Budelse. ‘The “KIJKsluiter” is a great example of digitisation,’ Michaël Nieuwesteeg explains. ‘The pharmacist places a code on a medication package. If you scan it using your telephone, you are shown a video with a step-by-step explanation on how to take the medication or use the device. Such a video would have to be unlocked first. The only option at your disposal would be the packaging.’  

Use of electronic patient information

The pharmaceutical industry is a government-regulated industry, where the EMA devotes itself to people’s health by evaluating and supervising medication. An important task here is providing the correct information to healthcare workers and patients. ‘The EMA gives its approval to the use of electronic patient information (ePI),’ Yousri Acem prefaces his research. ‘A great many parties are involved in this. In my research, I assess the need and I would also like to know whether a QR code or NFC chip is the preferred method to unlock medication or patient information via mobile scanning.’

Advantages digital leaflet

In his research, Yousri Acem focuses on the ease of use of the ePI for the patient, among other things. ‘A digital leaflet would be far more useful because of the presence of a search function, the translation into your preferred language and the option of having the text as a sound clip. The latter being important to blind and partially-sighted people as you want to make sure that the information is available to everyone.’ ePI also has many advantages for pharmaceutical companies. ‘Normally, adapting a paper leaflet is a very time-consuming process. Let alone the huge stocks of some leaflets. When using a digital leaflet, this disadvantage no longer applies.’  

Personalised care

According to Harry Mennen, the digital leaflet offers patients another big advantage by combining the effects and side effects of various medicines. ‘If patients use multiple medicines, they will receive a leaflet with each medicine in which the effects and side effects are explained. You cannot achieve this combination manually. For example, can you combine a blood thinner for your heart issues with a painkiller for your headache? In the case of a digital leaflet, you can use an app to create a personal profile, combine effects and side effects with each other and add your medical file to gain a better insight into what you are taking. In view of personalised care this is a huge step forward.’   

Qualitative study

In order to adequately map needs and preferences, Yousri Acem conducts qualitative studies at stakeholders, such as the EMA, the Medicines Evaluation Board (CGB-MEB), pharmaceutical companies and the umbrella organisation of pharmacies, patient organisations and health insurers.  

‘It appears, after the first interviews, that pharmaceutical companies and the Netherlands Patients Federation agree on the fact that electronic product information has a great future in store,’ Yousri Acem summarises his findings. ‘There is still much unclarity regarding the final form and method of implementation. In short; a lot more questions to ask and plenty of food for thought.’ 

🔺 Harry Mennen, Account Manager  De Budelse.

Serialisation for pharmaceutical company packaging

Serialisation for pharmaceutical company packaging

Sometimes a tour of De Budelse leads to progressive insight and a request for complex printed matter. As a specialist in packaging, we love challenges, and we like researching solutions for new customers. Especially if that customer belongs to one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world. The outcome of this research leaves you wanting more.  

Printing QR codes with an inkjet printer 

DThe question arose whether we could print QR or 2D matrix codes on boxes made from microwave cardboard. De Budelse has this technology in-house. We print variable data on packaging using existing digital machines. The 1 millimetre thickness presented an extra challenge for this packaging. After some research, we found a solution that complies with all checks and GMP guidelines. 

Scan and approve QR codes

Accuracy is critical for pharmaceutical companies. That is why we have a scanner behind the printer that scans and approves the QR codes. Each box has a unique QR code. Within the European Union, this will become mandatory for pharmaceutical companies. It does not matter whether we have to print one box or a thousand. 

All functions under one roof

DAn inkjet printer and a scanner investment seems like a small step. The impact is huge. From now on, we can manage “printing – die-cutting – labelling – printing with unique codes” under one roof. This solution leads to both a satisfied customer and a satisfied manufacturer for the serialisation of folding boxes.

The words of a customer: Willem Koster (COO Vitals)

The words of a customer: Willem Koster (COO Vitals)

‘De Budelse has lived up to high expectations as an innovative and sustainable printer’

Vitals ambition is to develop the most progressive food supplements. The quality and scientific substantiation of the ingredients are central to this. This ambition also includes a conscious choice for sustainability. “As a company, we are a strong supporter of the circular economy,” says Willem Koster, COO of Vitals. “That is why we opt for optimally recyclable packaging, and we strive for a lower CO2 footprint. That’s how we came to De Budelse, who now prints our bilingual packaging on Paperwise cardboard.”

Vitals never stands still. The company is continuously expanding its range, improving products and entering new markets. For example, we wished to further market our food supplements in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “We seized the opportunity of these expansion plans to make a step towards sustainability,” Willem Koster continues.

Biobased containers and boxes from agricultural waste

When choosing packaging, Vitals faced an important consideration: what is the most sustainable solution? “We opted for new, recyclable, biobased plastic containers,” Willem Koster explains. “They are packaged in boxes made of PaperWise cardboard. It is a CO2-neutral product made from plant residues left over after harvesting. Using agricultural waste as a raw material for paper and cardboard is environmentally friendly, and it gives farmers an extra source of income.”

we opt for optimally recyclable packaging and we strive for a lower CO2 footprint

Expectations fulfilled

Vitals inquired at PaperWise which printer was suitable for printing this sustainable cardboard packaging. A referral brought the company into contact with De Budelse. Willem Koster is very pleased with the collaboration. “De Budelse already had experience with PaperWise cardboard and seemed to have advanced collaboration possibilities. That was the deciding factor for us in choosing them. And let’s be honest: De Budelse has more than lived up to the high expectations as an innovative and sustainable printer. Not only do they print the boxes in two languages, but they also arrange for the printing of the associated labels. And they took us on board from the very first design. It is really great for Vitals to have a single point of contact for all printed matter.”


Willem Koster notices that the collaboration with De Budelse has made further progress in the possibilities of managing files, ordering, storing and delivering printed matter. “In the long run, we will certainly make use of these opportunities,” he reflects on the future. “We would like to be more self-sufficient. For example, it works much more effectively if we adjust the designs, prepare them for production and place the orders via the automated system, without intervention from third parties. Once we have control by ourselves, it will be child’s play to make small adjustments and place orders.”


Vitals is pleased that De Budelse also attaches great importance to the unique combination of ambition and sustainability. “We are not a marketing company that sells hot air,” concludes Willem Koster. “Ambition is our starting point. We want to develop progressive food supplements that meet a need. The information we provide is crucial. A product will not be included in our range without a solid scientific basis. In addition, we want to take care of people’s health and the health of our planet. It’s great that those values are also shared by De Budelse.”

Braille on healthcare packaging

Braille on packaging: down to the last detail at De Budelse

Manufacturers of medicines are legally obliged to have the name of the medicine printed in Braille on the packaging. De Budelse is increasingly producing packaging for healthcare customers, so we are constantly working internally to improve this part of the process. With the investment of two new machines, we dare to say: De Budelse has mastered the application of Braille on packaging for medicines down to the last detail.  

Processes with risks 

How De Budelse applies Braille to packaging has evolved considerably in recent years. A few years ago, we used a combination of a punching machine and a set of dies.

Traditionally, we provided a multitude of packaging with the correct Braille script at the same time. This process was not without risks. There was a chance of error with every package.

We are continuously working internally to improve the process.

New machines

As a successor, we use a folding/glueing machine that can also apply Braille. With this machine, two rollers – with a Braille tape in between – are interlocked. We store the used Braille tapes in the warehouse. Wear and tear or incorrectly stored Braille tape increases the risk of errors, and we obviously don’t want that.

We recently acquired a machine to produce the Braille tapes ourselves. We now use a new tape for every print run, and we recycle the old ones.

Error reduction down to zero

De Budelse has also invested in a new folding/glueing machine that can apply Braille to a box in two places simultaneously. With one machine, we reduce the chance of error; with the other, we increase efficiency. Whichever machine we use: we always check whether the Braille is correct with Eye-C. This way, we reduce the risk of incorrect Braille writing to zero.