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Stora Enso and Valio team up to unveil wood-based reusable lid.

Stora Enso’s new lids are a biocomposite that combines wood fibres and polymers. They are also washable and durable. © Stora Enso.

“Together with our customers and brand owners we are actively developing new innovative solutions to support food chains to respond to consumer demands for sustainable choices.”

Pulp and paper manufacturer Stora Enso and Finnish dairy product manufacturer Valio are planning to introduce wood fibre-based reusable lids made from a biocomposite.

Encouraging consumers to reduce waste, the partners will distribute 10,000 reusable lids through Valio’s promotional sales demonstrations early this year.

Valio and Stora Enso will use the reusable lids to test the wood-based biocomposite in food packaging. It will help the companies understand how biocomposite reacts when in contact with food.

Valio (@ValioFi) packaging development manager Jussi-Pekka Lumme said: “With this pilot project we are encouraging people to take small, concrete actions to reduce food waste. The lid makes it easy to protect the unused crème fraiche or quark.

“In 2018, we switched to fully plant-based packaging in all 250 million gable-top milk, yoghurt, cream and sour milk packages. The packages are a part of our larger concept of aiming to reset milk’s carbon footprint to zero by 2035.”

Made from Stora Enso’s (@storaenso) DuraSense, a biocomposite that combines wood fibres and polymers, the lids are durable and washable.

According to Valio, biocomposite helps to reduce carbon footprint as it cuts the plastic content in various products by half.

The lid is designed to protect the food from going out of date during storage, reducing waste.

“We at Stora Enso see a strong demand for climate-friendly food packaging, where strong brands searching for eco-friendly solutions are one of the driving forces. Together with our customers and brand owners we are actively developing new innovative solutions to support food chains to respond to consumer demands for sustainable choices,” said Hannu Kasurinen, Head of Packaging Materials at Stora Enso.

Stora Enso is not only investing in its bio-based product portfolio, but is facilities as well.

Late last year, it announced that it would be investing €9m in a pilot facility to manufacture raw materials for the production of polyethylene furanoate (PEF), a plant-based alternative to PET.

To be located at Stora Enso’s Langerbrugge paper mill site in Belgium, the unit will convert plant-based sugars into cost-competitive FDCA (furandicarboxylic acid), a building block required to make PEF.

To be run by Stora Enso’s Biomaterials division, the plant is currently at the design and engineering stage. The construction work on the plant is set to begin in the second half of 2020, and completion is scheduled for the first quarter of 2021, the firm said in a statement.

The investment, mainly targeting the food and beverage industry, will further strengthen Stora Enso’s portfolio of renewable and recyclable materials to replace fossil-based alternatives.

In addition to its renewable nature, PEF offers attractive barrier, mechanical and thermal properties, opening up new packaging opportunities, such as small liquid containers for soft drinks, juices and other beverages.

“Bio-based materials are of rapidly growing interest in the packaging world as companies look for sustainable packaging materials with high performance,” said Markus Mannström, executive vice president of Stora Enso’s biomaterials division.

If you were interested in this bioeconomy story, you may also like the stories below. 

Read: Stora Enso and Fiskeby team up to help turn used paper cups into white-lined chipboard.

Read: Stora Enso to build pilot facility for lignin-based carbon products.

Read:  Stora Enso unveils recyclable paperboard for paper cups to help customers reduce the use of plastics.

Read: Four years after launching, Tetra Pak’s bio-based packaging hits the half a billion unit mark.

ReadStora Enso to support H&M-IKEA-backed sustainability initiative.

Read: Stora Enso launches a wood-based biocomposite as a replacement for plastic.

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