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Wood-based ‘plastic’ bags developed 

Would wood based plastic bags be classed under the new carrier bag charge? Image: ©Paptic

Finnish wood-based fibre company Paptic, which has raised more than 1 million Euros in seed funding, says the technology could replace carrier bags and packaging.

Paptic’s new, patented technology enables the manufacturing of what they call a “revolutionary” new fibre product with plastic-like properties. They say it combines the recyclability of paper with the functionality of plastic.

"Paptic is a practical example of Finnish excellence in the wood-based bioeconomy. Our innovations are world-class and the possibilities are staggering,” says Tuomas Mustonen from Paptic.

100 billion plastic bags are used every year in Europe alone

Mustonen said that 100 billion plastic bags are used every year in Europe alone and that Paptic’s first product is a direct response to the EU directive that seeks to reduce plastic bags usage. 

“Our purpose is to help resolve a major global environmental problem: the accumulation of plastic waste in the oceans and among marine life. If all the plastic waste already in the oceans was gathered up and put inside plastic bags there would be around 15 bags per metre of the world’s coastline. Already 70% of the material used in the PAPTIC Bags is renewable and biodegradable, and it can be recycled.”

The Paptic team developed the product at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, based on long-term research in fibre products and processes. A demo plant will now be established in the Finnish city of Espoo to manufacture wood fibre material. Manufacturing will begin on a small scale this autumn, through which the machines and products will be developed.

"We will gain more experience throughout the value chain, the ability to produce a product, all the way from the paper machine to retail checkout and the consumer,” says Mustonen.

By Lucy

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