Originally launched last year, DuraSense is a blend of wood fibres and polymers, which can be fossil, bio-based or recycled, depending on the brands’ requeriements.

Carbon footprint reduction

The new family of materials was originally designed to be suitable for a wide range of applications (furniture, pallets, hand tools, automotive parts, accessories and packaging for beauty and lifestyle products, toys and items, such as kitchen utensils and bottle caps), but it is now officially available for cosmetics, food and luxury packaging. According to Stora Enso, introducing DuraSense to new customer segments is “another step on the journey to gradually replace fossil-based packaging materials with renewable solutions.

Thanks to the wood fibres they contain, DuraSense biocomposites allow to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of packaging materials. For instance, with a blend of wood fibres and bio-based polymers, it is possible to get up to 98% renewable content.

"Reducing the amount of plastic is high on our customers’ agenda, and they want help in replacing non-renewable materials. With DuraSense we can now offer different biocomposite solutions, such as caps and bottle stoppers, to demanding customers in premium cosmetics, food and luxury segments with very high standards in both aesthetics and quality," says Hannu Kasurinen, SVP Head of Liquid Packaging and Carton Board at Stora Enso.

Furthermore, the wood used for DuraSense comes from sustainably managed Nordic forests covered by third-party-certified Chain of Custody systems.

"With wood-based biocomposites, the consumption of plastic materials can be reduced by up to 50%, ensuring that less plastic ends up in the environment. DuraSense can also be reused as a material up to seven times, recycled along with plastic materials or used for energy recovery at the end of its life," adds Lars Axrup, Head of Business, Sustainable Packaging Components at Stora Enso.

Limited costs

According to Stora Enso, another interest of DuraSence wood-based biocomposites is their low impact on production costs. “With little or no change to existing production techniques, the biocomposite material is developed to match conventional plastics and therefore fit existing moulds,” claims the company.

All the more so as Stora Enso started the commercial production of biocomposites in 2018 and now has the largest capacity in Europe dedicated to wood-fibre-based composites.