100% cellulose film resin adopted by restaurant chain for take-out packaging

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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 which is developing a wood cellulose based plastic for film packaging and other uses. Through collaboration with Finnish company Amerplast, one of Europe’s largest flexo printers and bag converters of high-performance packaging for fast-moving consumer goods for food and non-food categories, the company has brings his new material to fruition commercially.

The new commercial application made from the 100% carbon-neutral and recyclable Woodly film resin is a heat-sealed bag for take-out products launched by restaurant chain HelmiSimpukka of St1 in Finland.

Woodly CCO Tomi Nyman has confirmed that the film is made of 100% Woodly, the main raw material of which is cellulose and which is also the main polymer backbone of the film structure. Woodly would be suitable for film blowing and cast film extrusion, among many other converting techniques, including injection molding. In film packaging, while Woodly is primarily for single-layer films, it can also be laminated with other polymers, according to Nyman.

Specifically, Woodly film is an alternative solution to traditional cellophane with a reduced carbon footprint and improved recyclability. The film has also been shown to prevent moisture condensation and preserve the quality of fresh food products longer. In addition to food packaging, Woodly film can be used for labels and to wrap flowers and gifts, to name a few examples of applications.

“We have an ingenious 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 develop new material applications for the growing plastic film markets,” says Jaakko Kaminen, CEO of Woodly. His company sees many new opportunities here to extend similar Woodly heat-sealed tote bag solutions to other product categories.

Founded in 1952, Amerplast has extensive experience in plastics and packaging manufacturing. Amerplast provides packaging solutions for food and non-food applications to leading brands in key market segments in Europe. With its AmerGreen program, Amerplast is taking a leadership position in transforming the industry into an environmentally friendly business. Amerplast is the market leader for shopping bags in Finland and the company’s bag solutions are based on the use of recycled materials in accordance with the circular economy model

According to Ari-Pekka Pietilä, Sales and Marketing Director of Amerplast, “The wood-based plastic material offered by Woodly and our technical know-how are a perfect match, which supports our commitment to further increase the use of bio-based raw materials in the packaging we manufacture.We have strong expertise in the requirements of the food industry and packaging materials.We are delighted to work with Woodly to explore the potential of having an alternative to type material cellophane that meets the expectations of our customers.The strategic objective of our company is to further increase the use of bio-based raw materials in the packaging we manufacture.

Since early spring, restaurant chain HelmiSimpukka in St1 has been packing its storefront sandwiches in the new heat-sealed to-go bag made from the unique Woodly material. Recognized as one of Finland’s largest companies, St1 and its HelmiSimpukka outlets are known for their comprehensive services and delicious food. With the new eco-friendly packaging solution, St1 aims to reduce food waste, increase consumer recycling and also improve product quality and shelf life.

“It is important for us to continuously develop our services and products. We offer our customers bakery products made from high quality ingredients. Sandwiches packed in Woodly heat-sealed to-go bags retain their freshness even longer than those packed in a traditional plastic bag, supporting our goal of reducing food waste. In addition, the Woodly heat-sealed bag is made from renewable materials and is suitable for recycling, which is in line with our thinking on responsibility,” says Emil Huttunen, Marketing and Concept Manager of the HelmiSimpukka chain.

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