Plans to extend the portfolio of bio-based packaging foams announced by Stora Enso

Stora Enso announces a new portfolio of what it claims to be fully recyclable, wood-based bio-based foams, which can be used for protective and thermal packaging.

The new portfolio will include Fibrease, which would be made with up to 98% renewable materials and designed to replace polyurethane (PU) foams and polystyrene, as well as in-place fossil-based solutions.

According to Stora Enso, Fibrease offers memory foam-like behavior and can be manufactured using different foam cutting and thermoforming techniques. With high insulating capacity, the company says Fibrease is suitable for thermal packaging applications, including grocery sales and medical shipments, and adds that the foam is recyclable in paper and cardboard streams after use.

Papira is the second packaging foam in Stora Enso’s new portfolio, which is apparently bio-based and biodegradable. It is intended to provide a plastic-free alternative to polymer foams such as polyethylene (PE), alongside PU and polystyrene, and can be manufactured using different foam cutting and laminating techniques.

Additionally, the company claims that Papira is stiff yet flexible, providing high impact protection. It is believed to be suitable for protecting fragile, sensitive and high-value consumer goods such as electronics and industrial devices.

Stora Enso says its new lightweight and certified wood foams meet the need for renewable and circular cushioning materials in inner packaging. He adds that fossil-based packaging contributes to pollution and accounts for 40% of plastics in the world – a challenge the company is looking to tackle with its new portfolio.

Markus Mannström, EVP Biomaterials at Stora Enso, comments: “Consumers today are pushing to minimize plastic use and maximize recyclability.

“At the same time, the need for packaging protection is increasing due to the increasing demands of e-commerce and cold chain logistics.

“With our bio-based foams, we help customers create green and circular packaging solutions, while meeting the performance needs of materials to protect and isolate goods. “

Currently, Fibrease is commercially available, while Papira’s pilot production plant has started operations at the company’s site in Fors, Sweden, following an investment announced in August 2020. The news Stora Enso pilot plant aims to evaluate and validate Papira as packaging foam in customer trials.

Lee J. Murillo