In partnership with Finnish food manufacturer HKScan, Wipak and Woodly have developed a new type of plastic based on wood cellulose that can be recycled in existing plastic waste streams.

As a result, HKScan will be the first company to have exclusive rights to use the material in Finland's meat product category. The company will utilise this new type of plastic for selected grilling sausage packages this coming summer.

The main raw component in the material - coniferous cellulose – reportedly comes from certified, sustainably managed forests. According to Wipak, the renewability of the material makes it a viable replacement for fossil-based packaging materials.

Wipak has been partnering with wood-based plastics developer Woodly since the beginning of 2019, with both companies seeking to work towards CO2 neutrality by, in their words, “developing sustainable raw materials, creating sustainable concepts, and using only sustainable energy for production.”

Jaakko Kaminen, CEO of Woodly, says: “We are proud to partner with a company like Wipak, known for its ability to innovate. We believe this collaboration helps to generate industry-leading carbon neutral packaging solutions the brand owners can utilise to fulfill their sustainability commitments and add value to their products”.

“HKScan is renewing its packaging to make it even more responsible,” adds Markus Gotthardt, VP, commercial for HKScan in Finland. “Our goal is to ensure that all our packaging is recyclable by the end of 2025, at the latest.

“At the same time, we aim to reduce the carbon footprint of our packaging by 20% and the amount of packaging plastics by 20% from the levels in 2019. By using the carbon-neutral Woodly component, we will reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of the ready packaging film by more than 50% in comparison to traditional plastic packaging.”

In a statement, Wipak concludes: “We constantly strive to introduce alternatives to crude oil-based materials and achieve carbon neutrality by 2025. In the development of our innovative film solutions, we focus on renewable resources that are suitable for food applications, such as Woodly."