PulPac, a Swedish inventor of a fibre-based alternative to single-use plastics, has revealed its very first pilot line.

“We have invented the first industrial method that can convert cellulose fibres into packaging that is price competitive enough to replace single-use plastics at scale. And it is possible to utilize all types of cellulose fibres, virgin, residue or recycled,” says Linus Larsson, CEO of PulPac.

The new pilot line is fully automated. Raw paper pulp is fed through a mill to break it up into fibres, which are then formed into a web that is fed into a standard plate press. The press is equipped with unique tooling that compacts the fibres into a mould.

“Any offcuts and excess web can be fed back into the system to minimize waste. Barriers and surface decorations are easy to add in-line, rolling all manufacturing processes into one. So, there is no need for additional steps,” Larsson explains.

According to PulPac, industry interest in its method has been significant, with a handful of clients and partners already implementing the technology. The dry forming reportedly enables high-speed manufacturing of fibre products of almost any shape or use, while, PulPac says, also saving energy and reducing CO2 emissions. The company also claims that it presents many design and tech advantages that traditional fibre moulding methods cannot meet.

“Our clients will be able to deliver what the whole world demands – a sustainable replacement to single-use plastics – and they can do so with maintained or even increased margins in several categories. This pilot line lets us showcase the advantages of the technology and fast track industrialization for clients,” Larsson argues.

“Our vision is to be a world leader in innovative packaging that is both sustainable and commercially successful. We help clients to disrupt the industry and set a new and sustainable standard for packaging and single-use products,” Larsson concludes.