100% Cellulose Film Resin Adopted by Restaurant Chain for Take-Out Packaging
Photo Credit: Woodly Oy
We often report on emerging developments in bioplastics for which commercial applications are being sought through industry partnerships. Recently, we were approached by Woodly Oy, a Finnish company that has been developing a wood cellulose-based plastic for film packaging and other uses. Through a collaboration with Finland-based Amerplast, one of Europe’s largest flexo printers and bag converters of high-performance packaging for fast-moving consumer goods for both food and non-food categories, the company brought its novel material to commercial fruition.
The new, commercial application made from the 100% carbon-neutral and recyclable Woodly material film resin is a heat-sealed bag for takeout products launched by St1’s HelmiSimpukka restaurant chain in Finland.
Woodly CCO Tomi Nyman confirmed that the film is made 100% of Woodly, whose key raw material is cellulose and is also the main polymer backbone in the film structure. Woodly is reportedly suitable for film-blowing and cast film extrusion, among many other converting techniques, including injection molding. In the film packaging arena, while Woodly is primarily intended for monolayer films, it can be laminated with other polymers as well, according to Nyman.
More specifically, the Woodly film is an alternative solution to traditional cellophane with a reduced carbon footprint and improved recyclability. The film has been shown to also prevent moisture condensation and preserve the quality of fresh food products for longer. In addition to food packaging, the Woodly film can be used for labels and to wrap flowers and presents, just to mention a few example applications.
“We have a resourceful collaboration with Amerplast. With Woodly material we can cover many interesting packaging product categories that can benefit from the quality and characteristics of our material. As a producer Amerplast plays a key role when we are developing new material applications for the growing plastic film markets,” says Woodly CEO Jaakko Kaminen. His company sees a lot of new opportunities here to expand similar Woodly heat-sealed takeout bag solutions to other product categories as well.
Founded in 1952, Amerplast has extensive experience in plastics and the manufacturing of packaging. Amerplast provides packaging solutions for both food and non-food applications to the biggest brands in key market segments in Europe. With its AmerGreen program, Amerplast is taking a leading position in transforming the industry into an environmentally sound business. Amerplast is the market leader in carrier bags in Finland and the company’s bag solutions are based on the use of recycled materials in line with the circular economy model
Says Ari-Pekka Pietilä, Amerplast’s chief sales and marketing officer, “The wood-based plastic material offered by Woodly and our technical know-how is a perfect match that supports our commitment further to increase the use of biobased raw materials in the packaging we manufacture. We have strong expertise in food industry requirements and packaging materials. We are excited to collaborate with Woodly in investigating the potential of having an alternative to cellophane-type of material that fulfils our customers’ expectations. Our company’s strategic goal is to further increase the use of biobased raw materials in the packaging we manufacture.”
Since early Spring, St1’s HelmiSimpukka restaurant chain has been packing their display case sandwiches in the new heat-sealed takeout bag that made from the unique Woodly material. Recognized as one of the biggest companies in Finland, St1 and their HelmiSimpukka outlets are known for comprehensive services and delicious foods. With the new environmentally friendly packaging solution, St1 aims to reduce food waste, increase consumer recycling and also to improve the quality and shelf life of products.
“It is important for us to continuously develop our services and products. We offer our customers bread products made from high-quality ingredients. Sandwiches packaged in the Woodly heat-sealed takeout bags retain freshness even longer than those packaged in a traditional plastic bag, which supports our goal of reducing food waste. In addition, the Woodly heat-sealed bag is made of renewable material and is suitable for recycling, which is in line with our responsibility thinking,” says marketing & concept manager Emil Huttunen of the HelmiSimpukka chain.
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Bioplastics were initially created for single-use applications like packaging and hotel key and gift cards.