Winner: Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation

Scheufelen, Grass Paper

Packaging continually exceeds expectations thanks to a combination of creative, risk-taking attitude to sustainable innovation, exemplified by the winner of our overall prize, and incremental improvements throughout the value chain. For the second year running we award ‘Best Sustainable Packaging Innovation’ to a solution representing R&D with transformative potential, rather than commercial impact at large volumes – though we expect to see it taken up enthusiastically by the market.


Papierfabrik Scheufelen, based in Baden Württemberg, Germany, has launched ‘Grass Paper’ – a range of packaging-grade papers containing sun dried grass. The paper offers premium printing and folding capability typical for high end SBS boards. The breakthrough enables a reduction in water use and corresponding massive energy savings through the introduction of up to 50 per cent fibre material made from grass feedstocks.

The ground-breaking technological aspect of this development is the production of an economical fresh fibre pulp minimising environmental impact. This involves dramatically reduced demands on industrial water processing – less than one litre per ton of grass fibre pulp, compared to a few thousand litres per ton wood fibre pulp – accompanied by massive energy savings (136 kw/h per ton of fresh fibre material compared of up to 6000 kw/h per ton wood fibre pulp). The process also completely dispenses with the use of processing chemicals.

This significantly reduces the environmental impact of products packaged with grass paper, reinforcing the ecological advantages of renewable packaging. It also facilitates a new marketing approach. Moreover, fresh fibre packaging solutions based on grass paper fulfil all requirements that will arise from the anticipated German mineral oil regulation for packaging material for improved consumer protection. The suitability of the material for food packaging has been certified by ISEGA, and it is recyclable, compostable and FSC-Mix certified (FSC® C009951).


Suitable for offset printing, Grass Paper is available for the production of containerboard, liners and folding box containers, as well as for graphical applications. Multiple product examples have already been developed under a cooperation between Scheufelen and the Hochschule für Medien, Stuttgart, by a group of students in the new Lenningen Packaging Campus, demonstrating potential for diverse market segments.

Grass Paper is distributed by Scheufelen in different grades under the brand names ‘greenliner’ for container board and liner, ‘Scheufelen graspapier’ for graphic applications, ‘phoenogras’ in a combination of grass paper with high white fresh fibre board, and ‘phoenolux’ for high-end packaging solutions. At present greenliner is available in grammages ranging from 80, 90, 105, 130 to 200 gsm, Scheufelen graspapier in 95 and 130 gsm and phoenogras in 360 gsm.

The material is produced using grass harvested near Scheufelen’s plant in the Schwäbische Alb Bio Sphere Region from perennial plants. It will be processed in an integrated production site in its paper factory in Lenningen.