Consumers want products that enable them to lead more eco-friendly lives. This means minimizing waste, and carbon footprints and reducing the use of plastic. Stora Enso is responding to these needs with renewable packaging innovations, including formed fiber, a renewable and recyclable material that enables molding 3D shapes from wood fibers.
“We are finding growth in sustainable and innovative packaging. To stay ahead of the curve, we are investing in next-generation fiber molding technologies,” says Anna Jonhed, senior vice president - Formed Fiber, Stora Enso.
Recently Stora Enso became a shareholder of PulPac, a Swedish sustainable packaging technology company working to establish Dry Molded Fiber as the next global standard for sustainable packaging, replacing single-use plastics with circular fiber solutions.
Replacing single-use plastics at large scale
Dry molding of fibers is a process that uses dry raw materials, while wet molding involves mixing pulp in water to a low concentration. Dry molding comes with many sustainability benefits, including energy efficiency, a lower carbon footprint, and less need for water. It is also a very efficient production method with high product output and scalability.
“We are currently using wet molding in our products and will now add dry molding to our portfolio. With this investment, we support accelerating the commercialization of PulPac’s technology and serve our customers with a wider range of sustainable fiber technologies,” Jonhed says.
PulPac uses a licensing model, where customers, for example, packaging converters, get access to their patented technology while both materials and production equipment are provided through other partners. This model enables a rapid scale-up of production capacity, and PulPac’s target is to replace 1 million tonnes of single-use plastics by 2025.
“PulPac’s technology enables products that are highly sustainable, but the big benefit comes from scalability. Efficient production technology means there is a real potential for replacing single-use plastics at large scale,” Jonhed says. “Business viability for replacing plastics at scale is what makes the real difference.”
Which technology is the best, then?
“At Stora Enso we believe both wet and dry molding technologies will have a role in the future – different formed fiber solutions are optimal for different product segments. We will keep pioneering the best technologies on the market. Our ambition level is sky high when it comes to finding the most sustainable, economically viable alternatives for single-use plastics,” Jonhed says.
Part of the global bio-economy, Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction, and paper, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has approximately 22,000 employees and our sales in 2021 were EUR 10.2 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm AB (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY).