Crown van Gelder, a Dutch paper manufacturer, will start selling paper made with sugar beet waste in January 2021, making it the first in the world to produce “sugar beet paper” on an industrial level.

The company says that its new product line, Crown Native, uses less wood fibre in order to achieve a reduced impact on the environment of 16% compared to traditional paper.

Crown Native was developed with the Dutch agricultural cooperative Royal Cosun as a strategic partner. The agricultural residue from Cosun's production process, sugar beet pulp, forms a valuable resource for the paper.

"Beet pulp is often processed into animal feed or converted into biogas," says Miklas Dronkers, general manager of Crown Van Gelder. “But by using it in our paper, it becomes a high-value resource."

Crown Van Gelder's new paper is the result of two years of research. The company investigated several crops to replace part of the wood fibres in the paper. With Crown Native, the company says that it has succeeded in creating paper made out of 20% beet pulp. And, due to the local sourcing, far less transport is required.

As a result, Crown Native reports a “significant” reduction in CO2 emissions and particulate matter formation. Moreover, by using beet pulp, the production process requires less water. “And, because we're using residual waste, no additional agricultural land is needed,” Dronkers adds.

The new product is also FDA compliant, meaning that, due to the beet pulp being classified as a former food product, it has been approved as suitable for food packaging. Dronkers adds: “This makes our sugar beet paper the ideal choice for product packaging, but also for shopping bags and promotional print. Crown Native is the perfect fit for brands with a sustainability ambition.”