Stora Enso will today officially open its Innovation Centre for packaging located at the Group’s head office in Helsinki. The purpose of the centre is to create a venue for innovation and R&D work, where Stora Enso together with customers and other stakeholders can develop innovative and sustainable packaging concepts. The centre offers, among other things, a packaging design lab, presentation areas with advanced touch screen technology and virtual reality retail technology. The Innovation Centre is primarily targeted towards customers, including converters and manufacturers, brand owners and retailers. The objective is to create customer value through strategic packaging that can drive sales, while also reducing environmental impact and total cost.
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”.