Finland-based pulp, paper and forest products manufacturer Stora Enso is investing in next-generation renewable, recyclable and biodegradable formed fiber solutions.
Stora Enso will build a new production line and related infrastructure to manufacture formed fiber products at Hylte Mill in Sweden.
The investment in formed fiber technology is part of its commitment towards circularity, to manufacture products which are renewable, recyclable, biodegradable and do not contain any plastic.
It is expected to further strengthen its opportunities to replace fossil-based products and contribute to combating the global problem of plastic waste. It is planning to introduce the first products into the market by the end of 2019.
Stora Enso manufactures formed fiber products from various chemical pulps and Chemi Thermo Mechanical Pulp (CTMP) by pressing it into a desired shape in a molding machine. Wood from FSC and PEFC certified traceable sources in Sweden and Finland is procured to make the raw material pulp.
The company said that it is planning to manufacture the raw material at its mills in Sweden and Finland and carry out the converting at Hylte Mill. The company aims to produce an initial annual capacity of 50 million units of product during the pilot stage and intends to expand.
The production line is expected to be operated by a new business unit for formed fiber which also conducts research and development of new formed fiber materials and technologies.
The new products include single-use food packaging items like plastic-free cups, bowls, clamshells, plates and coffee cup lids along with non-food applications, meeting the needs of consumers looking for more eco-friendly alternatives to plastic.
Stora Enso vice president and Formed Fiber head Sohrab Kazemahvazi said: “This investment is another step on our transformation journey to replace plastic and other fossil-based materials with renewable and recyclable alternatives. This investment allows us to help our customers build their brands as eco-friendly, circular companies.”
Stora Enso has also joined the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to eliminate plastic waste and pollution at the source to combat the global problem of plastic pollution by providing renewable alternatives.