13. Aug 2018
Stora Enso and Norwegian manufacturer of household products Orthex have collaborated on the development and production of a new range of kitchen utensils made from a biocomposite which combines the best qualities of wood and plastic.
The biobased material offers a high-quality replacement for oil-based plastic. The new material is made from spruce and sugarcane, which reduces the carbon footprint of the products by up to 80%, and contain 98% bio-based material.
In recent years, the Finnish plastics industry has actively moved towards the use of innovative bio and recycling materials, while at the same time, the forest industry developed wood-based materials to replace fossil fuel-derived raw materials. Both Stora Enso and Orthex believe in the global growth of the market for bio-based products, viewing these materials as creating opportunities for both raw material suppliers and consumer product manufacturers.
The biocomposite used in the new products comes from Stora Enso’s Hylte Mill in Sweden. Stora Enso’s DuraSense biocomposites are produced from spruce and pine from sustainably managed and certified Swedish forests.
“The Stora Enso biocomposite is a new innovative raw material which helps create the desired properties in the products. The wood used in the biocomposite is obtained from side streams of wood products and pulp production, which means that the wood material is utilised optimally,” explained Patricia Oddshammar, Head of Biocomposites at Stora Enso.
“The properties of the new products made from wood-based materials correspond to those of similar plastic utensils: the products are hard, durable, hygienic and dishwasher-safe. The wood contained in the biocomposite makes the material stronger and harder. We are now launching nine GastroMax BIO products made of bio-based materials for home kitchens. In their product group, products that contain 98% bio materials are uniquely innovative,” said Orthex CEO Alexander Rosenlew.
The majority of the oil-based plastic materials used today can be replaced by biocomposite granules, i.e. renewable wood.
“With the help of biocomposites, Stora Enso can expand to new markets and industries traditionally dominated by plastics. The DuraSense biocomposite is the perfect material for furniture, pallets, tools and car furnishing as well as for various consumer products from toys, tooth brushes, beauty and lifestyle products to kitchen utensils, garden furniture and disposable cutlery,” Oddshammar said.
Stora Enso’s DuraSense biocomposite is composed of a combination of wood fibres and recycled or bio-based polymers. The material developed for Orthex’s new GastroMax BIO products is a blend of wood fibre with sugarcane. Depending on the product, the bioplastic/wood biocomposite may reduce the carbon footprint of the product by up to 80% compared to virgin plastics.