Finland-headed forest industry major Stora Enso Oyj and compatriot Orthex Group have brought a new range of bio-based kitchen utensils to market. Made from a new biocomposite instead of fossil-based plastic, the new bio-based material used is made from spruce and sugarcane that combines the best qualities of wood and plastic while reducing the carbon footprint of the products by up to 80 percent.
In recent years, the Finnish plastics industry has actively sought innovative bio and recycling materials. At the same time, the forest industry has developed wood-based materials to replace fossil raw materials. Both Stora Enso and Orthex believe in the global growth of the market for bio-based products – it creates opportunities for both raw material suppliers and consumer product manufacturers.
According to Stora Enso, its DuraSense biocomposite enables the use of renewable fibres, such as wood, to substitute for a large portion of fossil-based plastic. Produced from spruce and pine from sustainably managed and certified Swedish forests, the biocomposite comes from Stora Enso’s Hylte Mill in Swedenwhich began production in early 2018.
Recently inaugurated, the mill’s annual production capacity is 15 000 tonnes, which is the largest capacity in Europe dedicated to wood fibre composites.
Stora Enso says that the majority of the non-renewable materials used today in for instance consumer products and packaging can be replaced by biocomposite granules, in other words, a renewable wood. The DuraSense biocomposite enables combining wood fibres with recycled or bio-based polymers.
In Orthex’s new GastroMax BIO products, wood fibre is blended with sugarcane. Depending on the product, the biocomposite combined with bioplastics used as a raw material may, according to Stora Enso, reduce the carbon footprint of the product by up to 80 percent in comparison with conventional virgin plastics.
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