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Environment

Grass paper backed over recycled paper

Paper company, Scheufelen, has increased its capital base to scale up production of recycled grass paper for food packaging.

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Businesses and investors alike are turning toward alternatives to plastics, while not losing sight of sustainability issues of monoculture based natural paper products

The history of the Scheufelen paper company dates back 250 years to original paper mills. The company’s latest grass paper product line is based on papers comprised of 50 percent fresh fibres from perennial fibres, such as sundried grass.

By producing the paper with regional, natural, unpulped fibres, the material for the product line consumes 50 percent less carbon, energy, chemicals, and saves approximately 6,000 litres of water per ton over alternative processes.

Jochen Wermuth, founding partner of the Green Growth Fund 2 (GGF2), says: “We are happy to have led this investment round and start the process of making the global paper and packaging industry far more sustainable. The recent increase in funding will be used to scale up proven grass paper production to significant monthly volumes primarily for food and retail applications, according to Scheufelen’s management.”

Just as people switched from fresh-fibre white paper to recycled paper en masse in the past, we expect people to shift now from plastic and recycled paper bags, trays, packaging foils with their negative health effects to grass paper, which is cost-competitive with a smaller environmental footprint and less health risks

Compared to chemical cellulose from wood, grass fibre comes at a significantly lower cost. The fresh-fibre based grass paper can be used for typical graphical applications such as printing products, note pads, books and even office papers, but also for all corrugated and folding box food packaging.

Due to its bio-based water and fat barriers, the fibre-based paper can replace food bags, cups, foils and cards made of plastics.

Fresh-fibre products offer health benefits over recycled paper, where mineral oil-based inks can migrate to food through contact and possibly even through evaporation.

Andreas Rohardt, a member of the board of Scheufelen, says: “Just as people switched from fresh-fibre white paper to recycled paper en masse in the past, we expect people to shift now from plastic and recycled paper bags, trays, packaging foils with their negative health effects to grass paper, which is cost-competitive with a smaller environmental footprint and less health risks.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk, or join in with the conversation on Twitter.


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