Industry Events

 Published on 25 Mar, 2022 in Packaging Asia

Huhtamaki steps up production of advanced smooth molded fiber packaging in Europe to provide plastic free packaging solutions

Huhtamaki, a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions, has strengthened its manufacturing capabilities in smooth molder fiber, a transformative and technologically advanced material which can be used to produce high-precision food packaging and replace rigid plastics.

The company’s site in Alf, Germany is switching its focus from plastics to smooth molded fiber (SMF) products to meet the growing demand for plastic free alternatives for food packaging. In 2022, the unit plans to replace more than 2.000 tonnes of plastic with fiber. Huhtamaki’s state-of-the-art automated manufacturing site will have the capacity to manufacture up to 3.5 billion fiber products annually. This represents the first such large scale production capability in Europe.

Huhtamaki’s smooth molded fiber products are already in use by some of the world’s leading food service operators. The advanced manufacturing facility at Alf currently delivers fiber lids for a variety of uses and bespoke products for leading food service and FMCG brands, including an assortment of hot, cold and frozen applications. In contrast to polypropylene products made from fossil-fuels, smooth molded fiber products are renewable, compostable and can be recycled. They are a fully sustainable alternative to similar plastic products. In addition, the wood fiber used to produce Huhtamaki’s bespoke and also generic designs is sourced from certified sustainably managed European forests. The products made in Alf have been certified for home composting (“OK” certification) and industrial composting (EN13432 standards).

“There is a growing demand for sustainable alternatives to plastic packaging for food. Our high precision advanced manufacturing technology enables us to produce fiber lids, trays and other products with superior performance. These products dramatically reduce the consumption of plastic – which is mostly fossil fuel based – whilst continuing to provide the same functionality including hygiene and safety which consumers expect. Our portfolio of fiber products manufactured in Germany and our expertise in material and manufacturing innovation presents a wide range of sustainable packaging products to help customers deliver on their sustainability agenda and goals”, says Eric Le Lay, President of Huhtamaki’s Fiber Foodservice Europe-Asia-Oceania business segment.