Stora Enso adds environmentally-friendly food safe packaging papers to shift away from plastic

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Published 28 January 2021 by Courtney Tenz
As consumers increasingly demand alternatives to plastics, Stora Enso has sought out new solutions for replacing fossil-based packaging materials. With the introduction of new food-safe papers, Stora Enso takes another step toward sustainability.
Plastics are quickly becoming a material of the past. With an ever-growing awareness of the harm they cause to the environment and as the EU’s Single Use Plastics (SUP) Directive comes into effect, industries are taking steps toward phasing out throwaway plastics. As part of this shift away from fossil-based materials and towards a circular economy, Stora Enso is extending their portfolio of packaging papers with alternatives that are fully recyclable, reusable, or compostable.

In addition to introducing two new fiber-based papers that meet strict food safety regulations, Stora Enso has added new grammages for other packaging papers to expand the possibilities of use. We spoke to Teija Kärkkäinen, Business and Product Development Manager at Stora Enso, about these alternatives and how they can contribute toward a more sustainable, circular economy.

Stora Enso has been selling packaging papers for several years now. What’s new?

At Stora Enso we’ve been working to expand our paper portfolio to find products that best fit customers’ needs as we move toward a plastics-free future. To that end, we’ve updated and expanded our packaging paper portfolio to provide fibre-based alternatives. We now have a larger portfolio in the packaging papers line that offers greater choice.  

Some of these changes include the addition of LumiPack and LumiWrap, uncoated papers for foodstuffs that have good  printability and great runnability. With LumiWrap, we can offer a sustainably sourced, food-safe paper that can be used even with moist or fatty foods and is fully recyclable in the paper stream. The lightweight LumiPack is available for use in corrugated boxes and pouches. We have also updated the C1S (one side coated) portfolio  to provide additional weights and enhanced strength. 

Who are these packaging papers ideal for?

Our customer base is wide, and we can work with each customer – whether a brand, a converter, or a printer – find the right paper that best suits their needs. That means, for example, that we can find a solution to replace packaging that previously had a plastic window with one that is comprised entirely of paper. With the added weights and improved strength on the LumiFlex Light and LumiLabel Light lines, we are responding to those needs as well. What’s important to note, here, is that all of these packaging papers have met proven food safety certification standards, with no harmful chemicals, so they’re ideal for use by the food industry. 

What are some of the benefits of these packaging paper solutions?

More and more we see increased consumer consciousness about the problems that plastic poses and brands are searching out sustainable alternatives. With these products, we’re taking a step towards offering those alternatives by offering packaging papers that are responsibly sourced and recyclable. 

What does the future hold for the packaging paper market?

Many of those in the food industry are taking active steps to shift to a sustainable packaging future, aiming to eliminate plastics. There’s still quite a bit in development to respond to these goals as we’re still at the beginning of the move from plastics to alternative materials. However, there are many intelligent people working to find new solutions. At the same time, growth in the flexible packaging paper market globally is strong, at a pace of about 2 per cent each year. So we’re going to see enhanced innovation and greater supply in the future. 

Find out more about our range of packaging papers here.

Stora Enso's packaging papers

One-side coated

With new grammages added and improved strength, these high opacity, high bulk and high stiffness papers expand the range of possibilities:

LumiFlex Light (60-110 gsm): No OBA added paper for flexible packaging
Best for: direct food contact, like chocolate wrappers or yoghurt cup labels

LumiLabel Light (45-97 gsm): High brightglossy, label paper
Best for: bags and pouches to hold sugars, spices, non-wet foods, label applications

LumiLabel Light WS (70-80 gsm): Partial wet strength paper for labelling
Best for: water and beverage bottles

Uncoated

New to the portfolio and made of 100% virgin fibers and recyclable, these papers offer flexibility in production and logistics as well as great runnability.

LumiPack: High strength yet lightweight uncoated packaging paper
Best for: fluting for corrugated boxes and for use as pouches

LumiWrap: Uncoated wrapping paper with a natural look and feel
Best for: food wrapping for dry, moist and fatty foods

In focus

Teija Karkkainen

"We’ve been working to expand our paper portfolio to find products that best fit customers’ needs as we move toward a plastics-free future" 

Teija Karkkainen

Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading global provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper. We employ some 23 000 people and have sales in more than 50 countries and our shares are listed on the Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Stockholm (STE A, STE R) stock exchanges.

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