We are thinking outside the box by trialling new and innovative materials for our paper and packaging making process which includes straw, daisies, hemp, cocoa shells and seaweed.
We are currently trialling a range of alternative fibres as part of our £100m R&D and Innovation plan to accelerate its work in the Circular Economy. The programme will look at the fibre potential and plastic replacement capabilities of a number of materials in order to diversify the range of sources it uses for packaging.
We are also exploring the use of annual plants such as daisies and agricultural wastes for their fibre properties and potential paper performance. Industry-first trials have been undertaken exploring how seaweed may be used as a raw material to design out problem plastics from carton, paper wrap and cardboard tray packaging.
Now, our Innovation Team is experimenting with cocoa shells for carton board in chocolate packaging and is looking at other materials with a good environmental profile. For example, agricultural waste in the form of straw, and annual plants like hemp or miscanthus, which in some cases might require significantly¹ less energy and water to produce than some traditional paper-making materials.