Packaging made from “daisies, straw, grass, and cocoa shells” trialled by DS Smith

DS Smith

Sustainable packaging provider, DS Smith, is trialling “new and innovative” materials for its paper and packaging-making process which includes straw, daisies, hemp, cocoa shells, and seaweed.

The company is currently trialling a range of alternative fibres as part of its £100m R&D and Innovation plan to accelerate its work in the circular economy. DS Smith says the programme will look at the fibre potential and plastic replacement capabilities of several materials to diversify the range of sources it uses for packaging.

DS Smith is also exploring the use of annual plants such as daisies and agricultural wastes for their fibre properties and potential paper performance. The company says it has also undertaken industry-first trials exploring how seaweed may be used as a raw material to design out problem plastics from carton, paper wrap, and cardboard tray packaging.

Our research has the potential to lessen pressure on forests and protect the planet’s natural resources.

The DS Smith Innovation Team is experimenting with cocoa shells for carton boards in chocolate packaging and is looking at other materials with a good environmental profile. For example, agricultural waste in the form of straw, and annual plants like hemp or miscanthus, which DS Smith says in some cases may require significantly less energy and water to produce than some traditional paper-making materials.

DS Smith has been trialling novel materials with research partners. In a pilot programme, DS Smith and The Research Institute of Sweden (RISE) explored how the properties of straw and seaweed could potentially work as a packaging product in comparison to more traditional materials including recycled hardwood and softwood.

As part of DS Smith’s Now and Next sustainability strategy, the company says it has the ambition to optimise fibre use for individual supply chains in 100 per cent of its new packaging solutions by 2025 and optimise every fibre for every supply chain by 2030. DS Smith’s fibre optimisation work and wider sustainability progress can be found in its latest sustainability report.

Paper and Board Development Director at DS Smith, Thomas Ferge, said: “With the strain on the planet more evident than ever, our research has the potential to lessen pressure on forests and protect the planet’s natural resources.

“As well as looking at how we optimise the standard recycled paper fibres that we already use, we’re very excited by the prospect of how other resources such as miscanthus, hemp, agricultural wastes, and seaweed could be used in the next generation of packaging solutions. This is all part of our goal to make the most of every single fibre we use by 2030.”

Send this to a friend