Stora Enso launches wood-fibre based material for use as microwavable food trays

30 June 2021

The push for more use of sustainable materials in everyday living is being furthered by forest products giant Stora Enso which has announced a new wood-fibre based material designed for microwavable food tray packaging.

Stora Enso says the Trayforma material is free of PET (polyethylene terephthalate), has a very low share of PP (polypropylene) and a lower carbon footprint compared to traditional meal tray products. The material contains up to 95% wood fibres, making it widely recyclable in most existing carton packaging recycling schemes.

Microwavable meals are typically packed in fossil-based PET trays as the material is safe for heating.

Stora Enso says its Trayforma material replaces fossil-based plastics with renewable, lightweight paperboard that significantly lowers the carbon footprint of each tray.

By changing to recyclable, low-carbon trays, brand owners and retailers selling microwave ready-meals can act on circular economy commitments.

“With consumers more than ever before making sustainably conscious purchasing decisions, packaging materials play a key role in offering an eco-friendly product,” said Tuomas Puonti, VP, Head of Business Line LPB Fresh & FSB.

Fibre-based packaging is the most recycled material in Europe (83%), and every year European countries recycle more fibres than other materials, like plastic and glass.

When a biodegradable coating is used, these fibre-based trays are compostable in areas where biowaste is collected.

Trayforma Bio by Stora Enso is a bio-based and biodegradable material that is certified for industrial composting, meaning it will fully biodegrade fast enough (under 12 weeks) to be recovered at industrial scale.

Trayforma ready-meal trays require a PET coating when conventional heating is required.