Huhtamaki has stepped up to produce advanced smooth molded fiber packaging in Europe Photo: Huhtamaki
Huhtamaki has stepped up to produce advanced smooth molded fiber packaging in Europe Photo: Huhtamaki

Huhtamaki, a key global provider of sustainable packaging solutions, has strengthened its manufacturing capabilities in smooth molder fiber. This transformative and technologically advanced material 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 2000 tonnes of plastic with fiber. As a result, 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. 

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Huhtamaki’s SMF are easily recyclable

Some leading food service operators already use Huhtamaki’s smooth molded fiber products. The advanced manufacturing facility at Alf currently delivers fiber lids for various benefits 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 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 plastic consumption, which is mostly fossil fuel-based, whilst providing the same functionality that consumers expect, including hygiene and safety. 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.

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