Ahlstrom-Munksjö has partnered with five companies to develop a new flexible paper-based packaging solution.
The objective is to develop a renewable, biodegradable and recyclable flexible paper‐based packaging material, by replacing current materials by more sustainable ones, leading to a reduced amount of plastic films. There is a significant market potential, as the size of the flexible plastic packaging market for dry food applications is evaluated at around EUR 3.7 billion a year in Europe(1).
Flexible packaging is widely used in food wrapping, pet food and non-food packaging, and numerous other end-use applications what we see at the supermarkets.
Usually flexible packaging contains a plastic film and/or an aluminum foil, creating an excellent barrier to water vapor, oxygen, and contaminants. Downside in using plastic and aluminum relates to the end of the life-cycle when the packaging becomes waste. In the normal waste management it ends up being either burned or dumped into landfill.
The European project Sherpack – “Innovative structured polysaccharides‐based materials for recyclable and biodegradable flexible packaging” was kick‐off on June 14, 2017. Consortium has 6 partners – 3 industrial partners and 3 research centers. Industrial partners are Ahlstrom-Munksjö, Cargill, Borregaard, and research CTP, ITENE and ISOF-CNR. Sherpack was selected among 70 proposals in the EU funded H2020 BBI‐2016‐R05 call for projects on “Advanced biomaterials for smart food packaging”.