At Stora Enso, one of our main foundations and objectives is to provide renewable and circular solutions for all of our products. As a result, we set out to create cutlery and a circular solution for it that will change the way people use single-use cutlery.
Plastic cutlery is one of those items that traditionally will not be recycled even if it is placed in the recycling bin. It's far too contaminated. It's far too small. It's far too light. As a result, over 40 billion plastic utensils used each year in the United States alone, are a complete waste.
Our Biocomposites already provide various advantages compared to polystyrene.
- The material is more durable since the wood fibers strengthen the material's characteristics.
- The CO2 emissions are reduced by 48%
But what makes our Biocomposite cutlery remarkable is the fact that its dishwasher safe and allows for reusability. The material can be collected, molded, and reused into a new product once it has been gathered- creating true circularity.
As a proud sponsor of the World Ski Championships, Stora Enso saw an opportunity to test the circular loop by replacing all single-use plastic cutlery with our Biocomposite cutlery at the 2019 Seefeld World Ski Championships.
The goal was to collect, reuse, and recycle cutlery so that after the event, there would be nearly no plastic trash.
Separate waste containers were erected throughout the eating areas to collect and separate cutlery from general waste. Amazingly, by the end of the Championship, 75% of the cutlery had been collected.
Prior to getting molded, the material must be cleaned for it to be recyclable. This is to ensure the material's quality and food safety.
The 2019 experiment resulted in the development of a fully realistic cutlery circular loop. The two essential learnings in order to make the loop functional are to make it easy to gather and clean the material. Cleaning, in general, is a new step for vendors/restaurants to execute a circular loop as compared to a normal disposable take-make-waste sketch. It must also be determined how and who is accountable for the collection and return of damaged cutlery.
Since the SUP directive was implemented in the summer of 2021 Stora Enso has seen a surge of demand for it’s Biocomposite cutlery.
The EU directive strives to shift our thinking, behavior, and product design away from a linear take-make-waste approach and toward a circular model. The directive aims to reduce plastic pollution caused by single-use plastics such as disposable cutlery.
Stora Enso is constantly challenging itself and the industry to develop cost-effective and innovative solutions to achieve the highest degree of sustainability possible.
Part of the global bioeconomy, Stora Enso is a leading provider of renewable products in packaging, biomaterials, wooden construction and paper, and one of the largest private forest owners in the world. We believe that everything that is made from fossil-based materials today can be made from a tree tomorrow. Stora Enso has approximately 22,000 employees and our sales in 2021 were EUR 10.2 billion. Stora Enso shares are listed on Nasdaq Helsinki Oy (STEAV, STERV) and Nasdaq Stockholm AB (STE A, STE R). In addition, the shares are traded in the USA as ADRs (SEOAY).
Source: Stora Enso