Finnish pulp and paper products manufacturer Stora Enso has started producing formed fiber foodservice products at Hylte Mill in Sweden. The production ramp-up follows the investment announced in 2019 and enables the manufacture of renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable products. The PureFiber by Stora Enso eco-product range is produced without plastic and per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), enabling a safe and sustainable alternative for fresh food packaging. The Group is also investing in more formed fiber 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.
According to the company, the joint patent-pending technology offers a recyclable and biodegradable solution that gives fiber-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 foodservice items. A Life-Cycle Analysis study shows that the PureFiber product line has a CO2 footprint that is approximately 75% lower than competing packaging materials.
“Market demand for formed fiber 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 scrutinized 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,” says David Ekberg, executive vice president, Packaging Solutions Division at Stora Enso.
To meet the demand for formed fiber 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 fiber production in China will support the Chinese efforts to replace single-use food packaging with sustainable and safe alternatives,” says Ekberg.
A formed fiber product is manufactured by pressing various wood-based pulps into a three-dimensional shape in a molding machine. The raw material used in PureFiber products is pulp made from wood from sustainably managed forests.
Part of the bio-economy, Stora Enso, is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions, and paper. The company has 25 000 employees in over 30 countries, including India.