Have you ever thought about what the coated layer in your paper cup or the material wrapping your fish-finger package are made of? At Walki in Jakobstad, this is big business, and the business is all about being sustainable.
“For us, it is important to use renewable materials that can be recycled and reused. Preferably we use ecologically decomposable, or at least biodegradable, raw materials. There is a growing understanding for the environmental impacts related to packagings, especially if they are not recycled, and we believe that the new generation of consumers will place larger demands on products and packaging in the future,” says President and CEO Leif Frilund.
Walki is a leading international manufacturer of primarily bio-based packaging materials. The company has operations in 11 countries, plants in 7 and a technical research centre in Jakobstad. The products are used in the construction industry, the food industry and for various industrial packaging.
“Simply put, what we do is make barriers for materials that don’t have them naturally. One example is wooden-based packaging for the grocery sector, where conserving the aroma is important. Everything we do is rooted in our knowledge of technical multi-layer laminates, and for us, renewable packaging made of environmentally-friendly materials is a guiding light. The majority of the material used in our products comes from wood-based fibres, i.e. raw material that grows naturally,” says Mats Holti, Executive Vice President, Technology.
Many manufacturers are still using only oil-based materials when producing packagings. Walki’s products are partly made of bio-based materials such as sugarcane, these products has low or no CO2 impact. The company’s long time target is to replace the oil-based plastics in the production with bio-sourced polymers.
“It’s impossible for the consumer to know if a product is sustainable or not just by looking at it, you have to know the full picture. This is why our vision is to contribute to the global resource efficiency by developing energy- and material efficient solutions. By being the leading source of innovative, bio-based packaging solutions, we will do our share to stop climate change,” say Frilund and Holti.
Business sector: Technical laminates and protective packaging materials
Turnover 2016: €302 million
Major markets: Europe, Asia