Swedish pulp and paper manufacturer BillerudKorsnäs has launched a sack paper designed to remove the need for plastic film barriers.

The Performance White Barrier sack paper features a coating to replace commonly used plastic films.

It is claimed to offer a similar shelf-life expectancy and other performance factors to those of traditional alternatives.

The two-layer sack paper can be recycled in regular paper streams and has a printing surface suitable for branding and product content display.

In addition, Performance White Barrier can be easily processed by converters without needing to change sack production equipment.

It also offers similar sack strength, handling and filling rates as conventional three-layer sack constructions with plastic film.

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BillerudKorsnäs said the new sack paper is designed to serve as a replacement for most slit and perforated plastic films in various applications, including animal feed, building materials, chemical substances, dry food and mineral products.

BillerudKorsnäs sack and kraft paper business area vice-president Armin van Overbeek said: “Both surveys and customer insights show that sustainable packaging is still high on the agenda, driven by consumer preferences.

“With Performance White Barrier, we take another step to replace plastic in packaging.

“What might initially appear as an invisible advantage, as you cannot see the absence of the plastic barrier, becomes clear in the next phase – when somebody is about to recycle a sack or check the sustainability report for a company’s initiatives to reduce their carbon footprint.”

Performance White Barrier is intended to help increase recycling rates among businesses, especially in view of high taxes on non-recyclable packaging.

According to Eurostat statistics, eight out of ten European Union (EU) citizens recycle their paper and cardboard packaging, compared with four out of ten recycling plastic packaging.

Earlier this year, BillerudKorsnäs completed its acquisition of US-based coated paper company Verso for nearly $825m.