PU foam used for cushioning in packaging is not a sustainable material. Despite this it’s used frequently within a variety of industries worldwide. But after a successful collaboration between Nefab and Stora Enso, the fiber-based solution Nefab WoodFoam is ready to broadly replace polymer foams, offering brand owners sustainable packaging solutions.
“We see a growing demand from eco-conscious companies to replace plastic-based foams with more sustainable alternatives. With Nefab WoodFoam we can give them that,” says Johan Tegell, Product Manager, Fiber-based solutions at Nefab.
Nefab saves environmental and financial resources in supply chains, providing complete packaging solutions and logistics services for our customers all over the world. Because of this, we have the engineering expertise and converting capabilities to test and help develop the material supplied by Stora Enso. Nefab’s role as a development partner has been to learn how to best convert the raw material into packaging solutions and test it through shock, vibrations, and transport. An important part of the development has been testing the material with our pilot customers Through feedback and close cooperation, Stora Enso has further developed the material.
The result? A fiber-based and eco-friendly wood foam that performs similarly to PU foam but is recyclable in the paper/board stream and generates 4 times less CO2 emissions than PU foams.
Thales has already made the switch
Thales Group is a French multinational company that designs and manufactures electrical systems and provides services to the aerospace, defense, transportation, and security industries. They are eager to find greener solutions and have set a sustainability goal of reducing their environmental footprint by 35% by the end of 2023. This made them a perfect match to pilot test Nefab WoodFoam instead of PU foam. The test went well. Nefab WoodFoam’s performance matches their old alternative but comes with lower carbon emissions, helping Thales to further reduce its environmental footprint. Thales decided to switch to the new packaging solution that is also recyclable in the paper/board stream, which traditional foam solutions are not.
”We know that a lot of companies want to get away from plastics and leave their reliance on the polymer foams behind, and now they can. We offer a renewable raw material that is tested and ready to go,” says Elisabeth Bergvall, Director of Wood foam Fibrease at Stora Enso.