LOCALLY GROWN PLASTIC FROM THE FOREST

An environmental hero within reach

Locally grown plastic, green plastic or climate-smart plastic. A pet child has many names, but what are they really referring to? Simply stated, locally grown plastic, or green plastic, is made from biomass from the forest, or in other words, forestry waste products in the form of branches, tops, bark and wood shavings. Trioplast is part of the exciting project initiated by SEKAB.

Behind the break through of transforming wood raw materials into bioplastic is a long and intensive research project at a company called SEKAB. Suitably enough, they can be found in Europe’s leading biorefinery, which uses wood raw materials as a base. The biorefinery is located in Domsjö outside Örnsköldsvik, and at SEKAB's demonstration facility, Biorefinery Demo Plant, research has been combined with test runs, leading to the development of the new technology.

When it comes to locally made plastic, a lot began already in 2014. That was when Sekab started the “Locally Grown  Plastic” project and began close partnerships with Trioplast, Sveaskog, Södra, Borealis, Tetrapak, Norgesgruppen, Polarbröd and ICA. The goal was to create a value chain together all the way from the forest to complete products, such as carrier bags, milk packages and diapers. The project proved to be successful and today, expertise and technology are in place. However, there’s still no full-scale production facility which have production of poly ethylene based on material originating from the forest. Trioplast, SEKAB and the other other stakeholders of the project is now working on securing interest and finances to continue into a full-scale project. 

Switching to bio based plastic offers many advantages, especially from an environmental perspective. For example, existing producers of plastic based on biomass reduces carbon impact substantially compared with fossil plastics. That will be further enhanced if we can start up production of cellulose-based plastic.