April 15, 2020

Finnish researchers help develop renewable food packaging

plastic innovation
VTT has developed a material that can be used in food packaging similarly to plastic due to its thermoformable properties.
VTT

VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has teamed up with Arla Foods, Paulig and Wipak to develop innovative packaging for the food industry from cellulose and fatty acids.

The collaboration seeks to find viable solutions based on VTT’s thermoplastic cellulose solution, which can be processed using conventional plastic treatment processes and refined into packaging films and bulk commodities.

plastic innovations

The material is suitable for many purposes for which fossil-based plastics are currently being used.

VTT

The next stage of the development process is to produce hundreds of kilos of the material and process it into various packaging prototypes for the food industry. The functionality of the material will also be verified in industrial processes and real application conditions, as all potential uses of the material are not yet known. This is an essential step towards commercialising the packaging material concept.

The final application of the material will depend on how the collaborating companies seek to implement it.

VTT’s plastic-like, thermoplastic cellulose material is one component of a packaging material that was awarded at the 2018 Ellen MacArthur Foundation competition.

The Finnish research centre hopes the corporate co-operation will spur the launch of the material to the market. The project concludes in May 2021.

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