Towards fossil-free wrappings for sawn timber

​Metsä Fibre’s sustainable development goal is to switch from using plastic wrappers on sawn timber to fossil-free wrapping materials.


​Developing fossil-free wrapping materials from completely new materials is a daunting task.

“The goal is that by mid-decade, wrappings made from fossil-free raw materials will already be used widely,” says Tuomas Arminen, Development Director at Metsä Fibre. 

The wrapping materials of the future may be fibre-based or bioplastics, or combinations of the two. 

“We have studied possible development paths. As we see it, the wrappings of the future will be fibre-based. In the early stages, plastics made from tall oil, for example, may also be used as wrapping materials,” Arminen says.

Sawn timber wrapping has many tasks

Developing fossil-free wrapping materials from completely new materials is a daunting task.

The wrapping must protect products from dirt, moisture and ultraviolet light, and also be able to withstand mechanical stresses, protecting the products from damage during transportation. The wrappings must also have a surface that prevents the bundles of wood from sliding around and allows walking on them also in slippery conditions.

“It is a big challenge, but we want to be frontrunners in fossil-free innovations and be able to develop well-functioning solutions quickly. We are already engaged in collaboration with suppliers of packaging materials.”

Metsä Group’s sustainable development goals state that all of the group’s mills must be fossil-free by 2030. This goal also applies to products' packaging material just as much as to the products themselves.

This article was originally published in Timberg Magazine issue 2020-2021. Take a look at the magazine.

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