Huhtamaki, sustainable packaging solutions, has strengthened its manufacturing capabilities in smooth molder fiber, a transformative and technologically advanced material that can be used to produce high-precision food packaging and replace rigid plastics.
The company’s site in Alf, Germany is switching its focus from plastics to smooth molded fiber (SMF) products to meet the growing demand for plastic-free alternatives for food packaging. In 2022, the unit plans to replace more than 2.000 tonnes of plastic with fiber. Huhtamaki’s state-of-the-art automated manufacturing site will have the capacity to manufacture up to 3.5 billion fiber products annually. This represents the first such large scale production capability in Europe.
Huhtamaki’s smooth molded fiber products are already in use by some of the world’s leading foodservice operators. The advanced manufacturing facility at Alf currently delivers fiber lids for a variety of uses and bespoke products for leading foodservice and FMCG brands, including an assortment of hot, cold and frozen applications. In contrast to polypropylene products made from fossil fuels, smooth molded fiber products are renewable, compostable and can be recycled. They are a fully sustainable alternative to similar plastic products. In addition, the wood fiber used to produce Huhtamaki’s bespoke and also generic designs is sourced from certified sustainably managed European forests. The products made in Alf have been certified for home composting (‘OK’ certification) and industrial composting.
“There is a growing demand for sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging for food. Our high precision advanced manufacturing technology enables us to produce fiber lids, trays and other products with superior performance. These products dramatically reduce the consumption of plastic – which is mostly fossil fuel-based – whilst continuing to provide the same functionality including hygiene and safety which consumers expect. Our portfolio of fiber products manufactured in Germany and our expertise in material and manufacturing innovation presents a wide range of sustainable packaging products to help customers deliver on their sustainability agenda and goals”, says Eric Le Lay, president of Huhtamaki’s Fiber Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania business segment.
Huhtamaki is on a journey to becoming the first choice in sustainable packaging solutions with a focus to ensure our products are recyclable, compostable, or reusable by 2030. By creating scalable and viable alternatives for plastic substitution, Huhtamaki is delivering credible sustainable food packaging options to customers, in line with its 2030 Strategy.