Moelven Wood is working with Billerud to develop a paper-based packaging solution for its wooden interior panels, intended as a replacement plastic shrink wrap.

Nineteen companies submitted solution proposals to MoelvenHackathon, Moelven Wood’s packaging challenge, in September. Forestry bioeconomy cluster Paper Province held the competition in Karlstad, Sweden, earlier this month.

Billerud was chosen alongside Ahlstrom, Boxon, Lignin Industries, and T-Emballage to work on the challenge, and was selected as the winner when pitching its fibre-based solution in front of Moelven’s jury.

“Billerud’s team presented a sharp and concrete solution that conveys sustainability, reflects the content, and visually stands out in stores,” says Tjalling Chaudron, product development manager at Moelven Wood. “We are confident that we together can develop a packaging with good technical properties, that can add value to our products and have an achievable implementation in the factory.”

“The packaging solution that we presented offers a modern and attractive packaging for a modern and attractive panel,” added Björn Larsson, business developer at Billerud.

Moelven Wood anticipates that replacing its shrink wrap solution with a renewable alternative will help cut down on its overall carbon footprint. Development of the new packaging will begin in January in a bid to bring fossil-free packaging to Moelven’s customers.

Moelven is the second company in Sweden to use the Bioboosters innovation hackathon – a method currently being developed in an international Interreg initiative involving nine participants in seven countries.

“The hackathon process is a new approach to finding innovative solutions,” says Malin Hildén, communications officer at Paper Province. “By openly announcing a company’s challenge, and letting businesses present their ideas, new collaborations can begin, and new products and solutions can be given life.”

“It’s a very good concept,” Chaudron concluded. “We sought innovation, and thanks to the hackathon, we have seen the breadth available in the market and the opportunities that come with it.

“We have gained a lot of knowledge about packaging that we didn’t have before, and we are very grateful to all the suppliers that participated.”

Earlier this year, Billerud wrapped toilet and kitchen paper rolls in machine-glazed kraft paper. The solution sought to offer recyclability, biodegradability, reduced carbon emissions, and similar strength to polyethylene solutions.

In other news, Coca-Cola HBC has piloted a cardboard and paper alternative to plastic shrink film for 1.5-litre multipacks of Coca-ColaFanta, and Sprite sold in Austria. Transitioning into this solution is hoped to reduce 200 tonnes of plastic every year.

Mondi’s Advantage StretchWrap paper wrapping solution is also being used by Sentrex for pallets – an effort expected to simplify logistics, optimize efficiency in the wrapping process, and phase out unnecessary plastics.

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