Stora Enso, a leader in renewable materials, is developing new generations of bio-based and renewable food packaging solutions that can preserve food properties and enable recyclability and reusability of the packaging material. Therefore, we are also looking into bio-based materials and surface treatment technologies from other industries to find the most groundbreaking innovations.

Opportunity overview

Many of the critical properties of food packaging are provided by barrier materials: they control the transmission of oxygen, humidity, grease, heat, and aromas, to name a few. At the same time, the recyclability of food packaging materials is increasingly essential for Stora Enso, its customers, and consumers. While Stora Enso already has a wide range of bio-based barrier materials, we believe there could be synergies between our current offering and other industries working on innovative materials and technologies for different coating properties.

The material solutions we are looking for would need to fulfill food safety regulations eventually, but no previous experience with food packaging solutions is required. We also aim to maximize our packaging performance with minimum material use, which different application methods or technologies could help. Our use cases differ from flexible packaging to home delivery of greasy foods, so bear in mind that we are looking for a wide variety of solutions, even those comprising inorganic compounds.

Your opportunity with Stora Enso

We want to replace fossil-based barrier components in food packaging using innovative coating materials and state-of-the-art coating technologies. If you have something to offer in food-safe, functional, and sustainable packaging materials & technologies, please read more about our key focus areas below.

More about Stora Enso Biomaterials

The Biomaterials division meets the growing demand for replacing products made from fossil-based materials with bio-based solutions. We use all biomass fractions, like lignin and cellulose, to develop new solutions. The division’s offering includes various pulp grades to meet the demands of paper, board, tissue, textile, and hygiene product producers and materials from our side streams, such as tall oil and turpentine from biomass.

Examples we're looking for

Novel biomaterial-based coatings

We are looking for high-performance (OTR < 1 and WVTR<1) and fossil-free coating materials to provide the required barrier properties for food packaging while reducing material consumption. Such coating materials may range from nanomaterials to formulations and shall apply to paper-based substrates through technologies other than melt extrusion.

New application and coating methods

We are also investigating new technologies, processes, application methods, or surface treatment concepts to construct barrier properties for existing substrates. We hope to find “out-of-the-box” approaches and strategies not commonly used in the paper and board industry.

Low coat weight barrier technologies and materials

Low coat weight may enable the recyclability of packaging, even though the barrier material itself would not be fossil-free/recyclable. We are searching for new barrier materials or technologies for existing barrier materials that provide the required barrier properties with low (<2 g/m2) coat weight.

Lignin-based materials

Lignin is the second most abundant forest-based material, and we see a potential for lignin in barrier packaging. Therefore, we are interested in lignin-based barrier solutions or lignin-derived barrier components. Such lignin-based solutions should eventually comply with food safety regulations and packaging recyclability demands.

Part of the global bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, and wooden construction and one of the largest private forest owners in the world. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow.

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