New solutions to replace single-use (disposable) plastics are in high demand. The solutions sought for should be based on renewable raw materials, manufactured with minimal environmental footprint, and be recyclable. The new material should also be biodegradable, should it end up in nature.
Together with Valmet, Metsä Spring has initiated a development project that aims, in its first phase, to find such new solution. Our solution is based on sustainably grown, renewable Northern wood and especially on the wood component known as cellulose fibre. After a successful pre-study phase, Metsä Spring and Valmet have decided to initiate a pilot phase. In the context of this phase, a greenfield pilot plant will be built in Äänekoski, Finland, next to an existing Metsä Group factory. The pilot plant will be used to further study and develop the novel manufacturing technology and subsequently, also study and develop the new 3D fibre products. In parallel to the technical development, Metsä Group is also working on the business model for the potential new business. The aim is to make the new wood-based 3D products fully fossil free (material and energy). It is believed that such products will be of particular interest in various high volume consumer packaging applications in the future.