Finland-based firm Stora Enso has unveiled a new bio-based alternative to plastics as part of its plan to replace fossil-based materials with renewable solutions.
The new line of wood-based biocomposites, DuraSense, uses renewable fibres such as wood as a substitute for fossil-based plastic.
The company began the production of biocomposites at its Hylte Mill in Sweden after making a €12m investment last year.
According to the company, the mill has the capacity to produce 15,000 tonnes of wood-based biocomposites every year at full production.
Stora Enso Wood Products head Jari Suominen said: “Reducing the amount of plastic and replacing it with renewable and traceable materials is a gradual process.
“With DuraSense, we can offer customers a wood fibre-based alternative which improves sustainability performance and, depending on the product, significantly reduces the carbon footprint – all the way up to 80%.”
DuraSense can be used for applications ranging from consumer goods to industrial applications, including furniture, pallets, hand tools, automotive parts, beauty and lifestyle products, toys, kitchen utensils and bottle caps.
DuraSense granules are composed of natural wood fibres, polymers and additives.
Stora Enso said that the material offers the mouldability of plastic and the sustainability and workability of wood.
The biocomposites line also enables to combine fibres with recycled or bio-based polymers.
Stora Enso biocomposites head Patricia Oddshammar said: “DuraSense can reduce the consumption of plastic materials by up to 60%, ensuring less microplastics end up in the environment.
“Stora Enso’s biocomposites can be reused as a material up to seven times or recycled along with other plastic materials or, alternatively, used for energy recovery at their end of life.”