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Stora Enso introduces portfolio of bio-based packaging foams

Global forest industry major Stora Enso Oyj has announced that it is extending its packaging offering with a new portfolio of bio-based packaging foams derived from wood. The products – "Fibrease by Stora Enso" and "Papira by Stora Enso" – are fully recyclable and can be used for protective and thermal packaging. Lightweight wood foams address the need for climate-friendly, renewable, and circular cushioning materials in inner packaging.

“Fibrease by Stora Enso” is made with up to 98 percent renewable materials and designed to replace polyurethane (PU) foams and polystyrene (EPS) as well as formed-in-place fossil-based solutions. Fibrease is a soft yet resilient material with a memory foam-like behavior and can be fabricated by using different foam cutting techniques and thermoforming. It comes with a high insulating capacity and is suitable for thermal packaging, for example in online grocery sales and medicine shipments. The foam is recyclable in the paper and board stream and optimal for recycling in closed loops to new materials and products (photo courtesy Stora Enso).

According to Stora Enso, fossil-based packaging is a major contributor to pollution, accounting for 40 percent of the world’s plastics. Today fossil-based materials, such as a plastic wrap or polystyrene foams, are widely used as cushioning and insulating materials in packaging.

With the new “Fibrease by Stora Enso” and “Papira by Stora Enso” foams, the company introduces renewable and climate-friendly alternatives to fossil-based packaging protection. The bio-based packaging foams come from certified wood and are recyclable in paper recycling streams.

Both foams come with versatile technical and sustainability properties, and customers can select a suitable foam based on their specific packaging requirements.

Consumers of today are pushing to minimize the use of plastic and maximize recyclability. At the same time, the need for packaging protection is increasing due to growing demands in e-commerce and cold-chain logistics. With our bio-based foams we help customers create eco-friendly and circular packaging solutions, while also meeting material performance needs to protect and insulate the goods, said Markus Mannström, EVP Biomaterials at Stora Enso.

Fibrease is commercially available now, while the pilot plant for producing Papira has started operations at Stora Enso Fors Mill in Sweden, following the investment announced in August 2020.

Stora Enso’s new pilot plant aims to evaluate and validate Papira as a packaging foam in customer tests. Stora Enso’s Fors site in Sweden, where the Papira pilot facility is located, produces lightweight paperboards for consumer packaging.

“Papira by Stora Enso” is a fully bio-based and biodegradable foam that is fully recyclable in any paper stream. It is a rigid yet flexible foam that provides high protection against shock and offers a plastic-free alternative to polymeric foams such as polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (EPS), and polyurethane (PU). Papira is designed for optimal protection of fragile, sensitive, and high-value consumer goods such as electronics as well as industrial appliances. It can be fabricated by using different foam cutting techniques and lamination (photo courtesy Stora Enso).

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