Fibrepak: a natural packaging material using thermoformed wet pulp

Fibrepak, a natural packaging material that uses thermoformed wet pulp, is an ideal solution for companies tasked with finding more sustainable packaging for their products.

Made from locally-sourced FSC-certified materials that have come from sustainably managed forests, Fibrepak is high quality, thin-walled and smooth sided, meaning that packaged products do not get scratched.

It can be recycled in traditional waste streams along with paper, compostable and biodegradable materials.

The UK’s Environment Bill, reintroduced to Parliament after Brexit, includes a range of new policies designed to help deal with waste. Manufacturers and distributors of products could soon be mandated to pick up 100% of the cost of dealing with the packaging waste they create.

Fibrepak, which is part of Sonoco, a company ranked 48th in Barron’s 100 Most Sustainable Companies for 2019 offers brands a truly sustainable option. Not only is the packaging natural and renewable, but customers benefit from a high-quality finish and greater precision than is usually associated with traditional moulded pulp packaging.

“We launched Fibrepak in response to a growing demand from customers that were keen to embrace sustainability,” says Anne-Sophie Belamine, European Sales Director.

“The advent of thermoformed fibre gave us a great opportunity to combine this latest technology with our vast experience of thermoforming to deliver bespoke, complex and high-quality packaging for a range of customers, including those in cosmetics, fruit and veg, homecare and electronics.”

Fibrepak is a dust-free material, so there is no particle contamination. It is non-toxic, microwavable, static-free and incredibly shock absorbent. It can also be treated to be moisture resistant for sustained periods.

Unlike rigid cellular plastic foam packaging, there are also plenty of logistics savings to be gained used Fibrepak thanks to its ability to enable product stacking and ‘nesting’.

Production of Fibrepak at the company’s facility in Poznan, Poland is now firmly established, with multiple production lines running.

During manufacture, natural fibres are converted into high tolerance thermoformed pulp products using a unique vacuum technique and ‘cure-in-the-mould’ technology. This uses heat and pressure to press and evaporate fluid from the fibres leaving a completely dry product at the end of the process that is ready for packing.

Fibrepak solutions can be created to a customer’s exact specifications while conforming to ISTA and TUV performance standards. These include clamshells, trays and inserts.

“When the perceived value of a product and quality of packaging is important – and natural fibres are the preferred material choice – our solutions are the answer,” adds Belamine.