Why grass paper is gaining momentum
Mondi has started grass paper production at its site in Austria. The idea of producing paper with proportions of grass fibers is not new. But the ecological advantages are understandable. The fact that a heavyweight like Mondi is now actively addressing the topic is a huge step forward.
The Mondi Group has started the production of grass paper at its site in Austria. The company sees the area of application in the market for carrier bags and packaging. The certified paper is also approved for contact with dry and non-fatty foods.
The paper is marketed under the brand name IQ Grass + Packaging. It consists of 30 percent grass fiber and 70 percent FSC-certified virgin fiber pulp from sustainably managed forests. Mondi sources the raw material for the grass content from an unnamed manufacturer in the form of pellets. The paper has been available throughout Europe since September 2020.
In addition to use for carrier bags, Mondi is also targeting packaging with its grass paper, for example as a liner for corrugated and solid board. According to the company, the paper was developed for flexographic printing and successfully tested. It is approved for contact with dry and non-greasy foods.
Using grass to make paper is not a new idea. But it is an idea that is becoming more widespread. Even Coca-Cola is already using grass paper board for bottle carriers and labels.
The ecological advantages for grass paper are obvious. Grass accounts for around one-fifth of all vegetation on our planet. It is one of the fastest growing and ecologically most successful plants in the world and is present in all climatic zones. Compared to fiber production from wood, its production requires less energy and water. In addition to the CO2 savings, there is also no need for chemicals, which are required in the case of wood to remove the cellulose lignin.
The fact that an international heavyweight like Mondi Group is now turning its strength and market position to the topic of grass paper is remarkable and a huge step forward.