New bio-based foam is made from wood
December 1, 2021 | 8:45 pm CST

Fibrease by Stora Enso is made with up to 98% renewable materials.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- Stora Enso is extending its packaging offering with a new portfolio of bio-based foams made from wood. The Stockholm, Sweden-based company said the products are fully recyclable and can be used for protective and thermal packaging. 

Stora Enso’s new offering consists of Fibrease and Papira brands. The bio-based foams come from certified wood and are recyclable in paper recycling streams.

Both foams come with versatile technical and sustainability properties, and customers can select a suitable foam based on their specific packaging requirements. The foams can be used for protecting fragile goods and are optimal for the thermal packaging of temperature-sensitive products. Fibrease is commercially available now, while the pilot plant for producing Papira has started operations at the company’s Fors site in Sweden.

Papira wood-based foams.
Papira wood-based foams from Stora Enso.

Fossil-based packaging is a major contributor to pollution, accounting for 40% of the world’s plastics, the company said. Today, fossil-based materials, such as plastic wrap or polystyrene foams, are widely used as cushioning and insulating materials in packaging. With Fibrease and Papira, Stora Enso now introduces renewable and climate-friendly alternatives to fossil-based packaging protection. 

“Consumers of today are pushing to minimize the use of plastic and maximize recyclability. At the same time, the need for packaging protection is increasing due to growing demands in e-commerce and cold-chain logistics. With our bio-based foams we help customers create eco-friendly and circular packaging solutions, while also meeting material performance needs to protect and insulate the goods,” said Markus Mannström, EVP Biomaterials at Stora Enso.

Stora Enso’s new pilot plant aims to evaluate and validate Papira as a packaging foam in customer tests. Stora Enso’s Fors site in Sweden, where the Papira pilot facility is located, produces lightweight paperboards for consumer packaging. 

Fibrease by Stora Enso is made with up to 98% renewable materials and designed to replace polyurethane (PU) foams and polystyrene (EPS) as well as formed-in-place, fossil-based solutions. Fibrease is a soft yet resilient material with a memory foam-like behavior and can be fabricated by using different foam cutting techniques and thermoforming. It comes with a high insulating capacity and is suitable for thermal packaging, for example in online grocery sales and medicine shipments. The foam is recyclable in the paper and board stream and optimal for recycling in closed loops to new materials and products.

Papira by Stora Enso is a fully bio-based and biodegradable foam that is fully recyclable in any paper stream. It is a rigid yet flexible foam that provides high protection against shock and offers a plastic-free alternative to polymeric foams such as polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (EPS) and polyurethane (PU). Papira is designed for optimal protection of fragile, sensitive- and high-value consumer goods such as electronics as well as industrial appliances. It can be fabricated by using different foam cutting techniques and lamination. 

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).