Stora Enso starts production of formed fibre products free from plastic
Stora Enso has started the production of formed fibre food service products at Hylte Mill in Sweden. The production ramp up follows the investment announced in 2019 and enables the manufacture of products that are renewable, recyclable and biodegradable. The PureFiber by Stora Enso eco product range is produced without plastic and per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), enabling a safe and sustainable alternative for fresh food packaging. The group is also investing in more formed fibre capacity in Sweden and China.
Through its partnership with HS Manufacturing Group and its patented technology, Protēan, Stora Enso offers a plastic free barrier technology for food contact packaging applications. The joint patent pending technology offers a recyclable and biodegradable solution that gives fibre based packaging water, grease and oil resistant barrier properties, without plastic or PFAS. The solution can be applied for a range of products, such as single use food service items. A lifecycle analysis study shows that the PureFiber product line has a CO2 footprint that is approximately 75% lower compared to competing packaging materials.
‘Market demand for formed fibre products is accelerating, and these products offer a unique solution to meet that demand. Single use plastics are already banned in many countries and PFAS in food applications are increasingly scrutinised by health authorities. This ramp up marks our first step in putting a new generation of sustainable and safe formed fiber products on the market,’ said David Ekberg, executive vice president, Packaging Solutions Division at Stora Enso.
To meet the demand for formed fibre solutions, Stora Enso is investing in additional production capacity in Hylte Mill in Sweden and Qian’an Mill in China. The annual capacity at both mills will be approximately 115 million units of products.
‘Expanding our formed fibre production in China will support the Chinese efforts to replace single use food packaging with sustainable and safe alternatives,’ said David.
A formed fibre product is manufactured by pressing various wood based pulps into a three-dimensional shape in a moulding machine. The raw material used in PureFiber products is pulp made from wood from sustainably managed forests.