Swedish forestry giant Södra and paper and technical fibres manufacturer James Cropper have created a lightweight, biodegradable alternative to plastic.
The companies say the sustainable paper product, called DuraPulp, can carry the weight of an adult and be composted within 100 days.
Södra and James Cropper are working together to develop applications for the bio-composite material and stimulate interest among other manufacturers to integrate it into packaging and product design. The two companies’ agreement is exclusive to premium markets, aiming to further establish DuraPulp in sectors such as luxury fashion, cosmetics, automotive and interior design sectors.
The blend of wood fibres and renewable, non-fossil based biopolymer can be heat pressed to take on any rigid form, or used as a sheet where there is a requirement for high tearing and bend tolerance or air permeability. Unlike other composite products, the companies say DuraPulp is the only one available where the primary content is pulp fibre and draw on 100 percent renewable resources, while remaining completely biodegradable.
Södra has explored the adaptability of DuraPulp in a series of design-led commissions, including a paper-thin, waterproof chair, moulded packaging to cradle delicate objects in transit and an electric desk lamp.
Sustainable packaging is now a $27 billion market, and it is growing at a rate of nearly 4 percent annually across three market segments: reusables, recyclables and degradables, according to a white paper by L.E.K. published earlier this week.