Finland-based paper and pulp company Metsä Board has expanded its portfolio with the addition of new plastic-free eco-barrier paperboard Prime FBB EB.

According to the company, Prime FBB EB is suitable for food and catering industry packaging applications as it creates a medium barrier against moisture and grease.

Metsä Board used fresh fibres sourced from sustainably managed Northern European forests to manufacture the new paperboard.

The company developed the product to cater to the customer demand for more sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging. Customers can recycle the product in paper or paperboard waste streams.

Metsä Board business development director Katja Tuomola said: “Packaging is a necessity for food distribution and safety, as well as avoiding food waste.

“Paperboard packaging made from renewable materials is a sustainable choice, and with further development of the barrier properties of the paperboard, we are now able to cater for a greater number of applications.

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“Our new plastic-free eco-barrier paperboard provides many interesting opportunities for food and foodservice packaging, as well as other end uses where barrier properties are needed.”

The product is safe for direct food contact, contains no optical brighteners (OBA) and fluorochemicals and is either Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified.

Earlier this week, Metsä Board started production of a new paperboard sheeting line at its Äänekoski mill.

The new line is expected to increase the annual production capacity of Äänekoski facility by 35,000t, bringing the total capacity to 120,000t.

Last month, the Finland-based company deployed artificial intelligence (AI) software on its folding boxboard machine at its Kyro mill.