Revolutionizing fibre-based packaging: Sappi’s innovative barrier papers provide cutting-edge solutions

Project Description

Sappi’s product innovation focuses on providing the market with fibre-based packaging solutions for applications that have traditionally relied on films, aluminium and multi-layer laminates. Our expanding range of functional papers supports the shift away from fossil-based materials towards renewable, paper-based packaging solutions. The papers deliver barriers to oxygen, water vapour, grease, aromas and mineral oil, which radically expands the scope for paper-based packaging applications and offers a viable replacement for fossil-based and non-recyclable materials. While fibre-based packaging is not new per se, what is new in Sappi’s development is incorporating new functionalities within the paper structure. Providing a barrier that fully delivers the protective function of packaging is essential if paper is to replace films or multi-layer laminate structures. Developing the innovation required to deliver heat sealability within functional papers also eliminates the need to add further sealing coatings or layers.

Moreover, it’s essential that the paper can run at high speeds and on existing machines without cracking or other damage. This is made possible by Sappi’s close partnership with OEMs, during which packaging machines are individually adapted to the properties of the barrier papers

Project Purpose

By developing functional papers, Sappi strives to deliver fibre-based packaging solutions that provide exceptional product protection, run on existing packaging technology and contribute to a circular economy by being recyclable in the paper waste stream.

Project Evaluation

In collaboration with leading brand owners, Sappi’s functional papers have been launched in a number of applications, particularly in the areas of confectionary and tea.

Marco Eikelenboom


At Sappi we contribute to a thriving world by unlocking
the power of renewable resources. With creativity and
ingenuity, we’re engineering new bio-based products
to support the circular economy our world needs. We
work to make the most out of every tree, to reduce waste
and emissions, and to provide purposeful products that
enhance people’s everyday lives with sustainability at the
core. I am excited to see how our product innovations
are helping brand owners meet their sustainability
commitments and fulfil the promises they have made to
reduce or eliminate fossil- based packaging, transition
to a circular economy and deliver on greenhouse gas
emission reductions. To meet these growing demands, we
are scaling up our capacity by introducing a new barrier
coating technology for functional paper packaging at our
speciality mill in Alfeld, Germany. Through this initiative
Sappi will continue to challenge conventional packaging
with new ideas and solutions, making it easier for the
world to shift to a circular economy.

Main features:

CO2 Emissions saved (tCO2)
Recent studies find that this type of innovative paperbased
packaging is able to reduce CO2 by more than
75% when compared to the incumbent material. As
the technology further develops, there is potential for
reductions by as much as 90%.