Fiber-based materials provider Ahlstrom-Munksjö has collaborated with five firms to develop a new biodegradable flexible paper-based packaging solution.
The companies will create a biodegradable and recyclable flexible paper‐based packaging material to replace current materials by more sustainable ways and reduce the usage of plastic films.
According to Smithers Pira, the size of the flexible plastic packaging market for dry food applications is evaluated at around €3.7bn per annum in Europe.
Flexible packaging is mostly used in food wrapping, pet food and non-food packaging, as well as multiple other end-use applications.
Flexible packaging features a plastic film or an aluminum foil, which serves as a better barrier to water vapor, oxygen, and contaminants.
Downside in using plastic and aluminum links to the end of the life-cycle when the packaging becomes waste, while it ends up being either burned or dumped into landfill in the normal waste management.
In June 2017, the consortium with six partners announced the European project Sherpack, which was selected under H2020 BBI‐2016‐R05 call for projects on advanced biomaterials for smart food packaging.
The consortium is comprised of industrial partners such as Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Cargill, Borregaard, as well as three research centers such as CTP, ITENE and ISOF-CNR.
Separately, Ahlstrom-Munksjö has launched a new parchmentizer line at the Saint-Séverin facility in France, enabling to increase the parchment paper production capacity.
The new line will allow the firm to meet the increasing demand for sustainable alternatives for cooking and baking, pan liners, trays and molds.
The firm produces vegetable parchment paper by using 100% cellulose fibers. Most of the firm’s variants are biodegradable and certified home compostable.
With around 168 employees, the French facility produces products such as food and beverage packaging materials.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö’s product portfolio is comprised of filter materials, release liners, food and beverage processing materials, decor papers, abrasive and tape backings, electrotechnical paper, glass fiber materials, medical fiber materials and solutions for diagnostics.
The company also supplies a range of specialty papers for industrial and consumer end-uses.