North America’s alternative fibre company Red Leaf Pulp has announced Dart Container, a US-based food and beverage packaging manufacturer, as its new strategic equity partner.

The two companies have not disclosed the financial details and other terms of this transaction.

As Red Leaf’s new strategic partner, Dart will have exclusive rights to use the alternative fibre manufactured by Red Leaf, which is made using wheat straw residuals.

Dart will use this material for producing its own moulded fibre foodservice packaging.

Dart CEO Keith Clark said: “Dart is excited to partner with Red Leaf as part of our strategy to expand our moulded fibre product line and offer additional packaging that earns our ProPlanet seal.

“Red Leaf is an innovative and environmentally focused company, and their disciplined approach to development of this and ensuing fibre projects gives us confidence in their abilities to become a major raw materials supplier.”

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In addition, the latest agreement will allow Dart to access significant capacity from Red Leaf’s initial conversion facility, which is being constructed in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Construction of this facility is expected to be completed in 2026.

Red Leaf CEO Martin Pudlas said: “The successful commissioning of our demonstration plant by our dedicated team was key to producing fibre that met Dart’s stringent quality and sustainability requirements.

“Collaborating with Dart’s tremendous technical and leadership teams over the past several months was incredibly rewarding and has deepened Red Leaf’s understanding of our fibre’s capabilities.”

Red Leaf is working to scale up a cost-competitive process that can help in converting residual wheat straw into pulp and bioproducts to address the rising market demand for sustainable packaging and speciality paper products.

Pudlas added: “We look forward to expanding our partnership with Dart as we advance toward [the] final detailed design and financing of the Red Leaf Regina project.

“We are also excited about planned next steps for further testing of our alternative fibre and bioproducts with foundational customers in other market segments.”