Stora Enso and the leading Nordic producer of household products Orthex bring to the market a new range of kitchen utensils made from a new biocomposite which combines the best qualities of wood and plastic. The bio-based material used to replace fossil-based plastic is made from spruce and sugarcane, which – according to both companies – reduces the carbon footprint of the products by up to 80%. The innovative products contain 98% bio-based material.
In recent years, the Finnish plastics industry has actively sought innovative bio and recycling materials. At the same time, the forest industry has developed wood-based materials to replace fossil raw materials. Both Stora Enso and Orthex believe in the global growth of the market for bio-based products. It creates opportunities for both raw material suppliers and consumer product manufacturers.
The biocomposite used in the new products comes from Stora Enso’s Hylte Mill in Sweden. The DuraSense™ by Stora Enso biocomposites are produced from spruce and pine from sustainably managed and certified Swedish forests.
“The Stora Enso biocomposite is a new innovative raw material which helps create the desired properties in the products. The wood used in the biocomposite is obtained from side streams of wood products and pulp production, which means that the wood material is utilised optimally,” said Patricia Oddshammar, Head of Biocomposites at Stora Enso.
“The properties of the new products made from wood-based materials correspond to those of similar plastic utensils: the products are hard, durable, hygienic and dishwasher-safe. The wood contained in the biocomposite makes the material stronger and harder. We are now launching nine GastroMax BIO products made of bio-based materials for the home kitchens. In their product group, products that contain 98% biomaterials are uniquely innovative,” Orthex CEO Alexander Rosenlew stated.
The majority of the non-renewable materials used today can be replaced by biocomposite granules, i.e. renewable wood. “With the help of biocomposites, Stora Enso can expand to new markets and industries traditionally dominated by plastics. The DuraSense™ biocomposite is the perfect material for furniture, pallets, tools and car furnishing as well as for various consumer products from toys, tooth brushes, beauty and lifestyle products to kitchen utensils, garden furniture and disposable cutlery,” Oddshammar added.
The DuraSense™ biocomposite enables combining wood fibres with recycled or bio-based polymers. In Orthex’s new GastroMax BIO products, wood fibre is blended with sugarcane. Depending on the product, the biocomposite combined with bioplastics used as a raw material may reduce the carbon footprint of the product by up to 80% in comparison with virgin plastics.