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Essity invests in sustainable alternative fibre technology

Sweden-headed global hygiene and health company Essity has announced that it is investing approximately SEK 400 million (≈ EUR 37.2 million) in an integrated facility for the production of pulp based on alternative fibre from plant-based agricultural by-products. The investment is taking place at Essity’s tissue plant in Mannheim, Germany. Production is expected to commence in the second half of 2020.

Essity is investing approximately SEK 400 million (≈ EUR 37.2 million) in an integrated facility for the production of pulp based on alternative fibre from plant-based agricultural by-products such as straw. The investment is taking place at Essity’s tissue plant in Mannheim, Germany. Production is expected to commence in the second half of 2020.

According to a statement, Essity has signed a license agreement securing “exclusive rights to a new proprietary technology” to produce pulp from alternative fibre that will have the same quality as conventional wood-based pulp at a competitive cost.

The source of the fibre is agricultural by-products such as wheat straw which is often made into compost or incinerated.

Essity, one of the world’s largest tissue manufacturers, is now evaluating the integration of this alternative fibre as a complement to fresh and recovered fibre as a raw material in its production.

To support our sustainability ambitions, we continuously assess new production methods. This is one example of how innovation can contribute to a sustainable and circular society,” says Magnus Groth, President and CEO of Essity.

The process will enable a reduction in the use of water, energy, and chemicals while the by-product of the integrated pulping process can be further refined to serve as a substitute for oil-based chemicals.

In 2018, Essity decided on new climate targets for 2030 that, according to the Science-Based Targets Initiative, are aligned with the ambition of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming.

Essity says that it is committed to reducing its climate impact linked to energy use and purchased electricity, and its indirect climate impact from, for example, material use and waste management.

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