Compostable and recyclable cellulose foam for packaging
The award was granted for the first time ever, organized by the nova-Institute GmbH, Hürth/Germany, and sponsored by Levaco Chemicals, Leverkusen/Germany. The awards were presented as follows:
- 1st place went to Stora Enso (Sweden) for Cellulose Foam by Stora Enso – a lightweight cellulose foam for packaging. It is designed as an eco-friendly alternative for fossil-based packaging and cushioning materials such as expanded polystyrene or polyethylene. The foam has comparable shock-absorbing and insulating properties whilst being bio-based, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable in ordinary paper recycling.
- 2nd place was presented to Kelheim Fibres (Germany) for fiber solutions for plastic-free absorbent hygiene products. The company developed plant-based fiber solutions for absorbent hygiene products (AHP). These comprise specialty fibers for the single layers of AHP with different functionalities: a hydrophobized fiber for the top-sheet, a trilobal fiber for the acquisition/distribution layer and a hollow fiber for the absorbent core. These biodegradable and sustainably manufactured fibers enable the replacement of synthetic fibers without a loss of performance. The material has the potential to be used also for the production of textiles, such as reusable menstrual underwear.
- 3rd place went to Metsä Spring (Finland) for a textile fiber based on paper-grade pulp. A new, energy-efficient process was developed to produce high-quality cellulose fibers for the textile sector, based on a new solvent family. Using ionic liquids, cellulose fibers can be produced from paper-grade pulp, avoiding the use of energy-intensive dissolving pulp, which is promising in terms of ecological and economic advantages. This allows to tap into further markets for sustainable textiles.