SWEDEN – Finnish forestry group Stora Enso has begun a feasibility study for building a formed fiber plant in Hylte, Sweden.

The company’s strategic aim is to grow with renewable packaging, and the investment would increase Stora Enso’s formed fiber capacity significantly.

The new plant would mainly produce PureFibe by Stora Enso – a range of formed fiber products that contain no per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS).

According to the life cycle assessment (LCA) study, these products have up to 75% lower CO2 footprint compared to alternative packaging materials such as plastics and bagasse.

The PureFiber by Stora Enso products from the new Hylte plant would have the potential to replace some 35 000 tonnes of CO2 annually.

Mikael Krook, Vice President of Sales and Commercialization for Formed Fiber at Stora Enso, said: “The new plant would serve as a center of excellence to produce low-carbon packaging solutions.

“In addition to producing food service applications, such as lids, bowls and trays, we would offer more advanced solutions such as modified atmosphere packaging that helps extend the shelf life of fresh produce.”

The company expects to start implementing the project in the first quarter of next year subject to the outcome of the feasibility study.

Based in Helsinki, Stora Enso provides renewable products for packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction, and paper segments.

Last week, the firm entered an agreement to sell its paper production site in Nymölla, Sweden, as well as all related assets to US-based uncoated paper producer Sylvamo.

The Nymölla site houses two pulp lines and manufactures 485,000t of wood-free, uncoated office papers for Multicopy and other brands.

The company also partnered with Finnish consumer packaging company Huhtamaki to launch a paper cup recycling initiative called The Cup Collective.

The two companies claim the program is the first of its kind in Europe, aiming to “recycle and capture the value of used paper cups on an industrial scale.”

The program will start in the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), with the two companies adding they have issued “an open invitation for partners from across the supply chain to get involved in working toward a systemic European solution.”

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