Ahlstrom has been spotlighted by the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) for its pet food packaging.

The AF&PA’s annual awards recognise exemplary sustainability programs and initiatives in the paper and wood products manufacturing industry.

Winning the Innovation in Sustainability Award, Ahlstrom’s PawPrint pet food packaging is made from wood-based natural cellulose fibres which are recyclable and compostable.

Research from GlobalData finds that for many pet owners, pets are perceived as equal family members that deserve premium treatment, which is reflected in packaging innovations.

Produced with Ahlstrom’s FluoroFree proprietary technology, the packaging is marketed as fully grease-resistant without the use of PFAS compounds.

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Food Packaging Americas vice president Travis Dahlke, who accepted the award on behalf of the team, stated: “Pet food brands and consumers are continuing to move to more sustainable and recyclable options for their packaging needs. Pet food is one of the most demanding applications for packaging in terms of grease resistance, and traditionally it has been difficult to provide plastic free and PFAS free solutions in this category.”

Ahlstrom food and consumer packaging division’s executive vice president Mark Ushpol commented: “Being acknowledged by AF&PA and receiving this award demonstrates how we are living up to our purpose to purify and protect with every fiber for a sustainable world.”

Ahlstrom’s PawPrint manufacturing platforms are located at Rhinelander and Nicolet plants in Wisconsin, US as well as in Europe.

Earlier this year, the manufacturer teamed up with sustainable packaging provider The Paper People to launch a sustainable packaging solution for frozen food.