Walki’s fiber-based packaging is in great demand
Packaging material producer Walki is one of the companies that has benefited strongly from the megatrend of sustainability. As consumers and companies want to make more conscious choices, fiber-based packaging is in great demand.
“Our roots are in the forest industry and over 80 percent of the raw material we use is fiber-based”, explains Walki CEO Leif Frilund.
Walki’s products do contain plastic and other materials as well, but the target is clear – by 2030, all products should be either recyclable or biodegradable. According to Frilund, the material composition in packaging needs to change, in order to reach the goal.
“We need to abandon laminates that combine many different materials. A laminate that, for example, contains both paper and plastic as well as aluminum is hard to recycle. The trend therefore goes towards so-called mono materials.”
Walki has a clear set of principles; to use as much fiber-based materials and as little fossil-based plastics as possible, and where it is not possible to replace plastics, to prefer recycled or biodegradable plastics and mono materials. Plastics has some properties, such as a great oxygen barrier, which makes it hard to replace entirely.
These new sustainability trends demand more cooperation throughout the value chain.
“Nowadays, we often cooperate with our customers’ customers to develop and test new material solutions. Recently, we have also made some strategic acquisitions in companies that produce final packaging solutions, and hence we are now one step closer to the end consumer.”
All in all, Walki has 17 factories in Europe and one in China.
Due to the strong demand for sustainable packaging materials, Walki has seen considerable growth in recent years; between 2018-2022, the turnover has more than doubled. In addition to packaging materials, the company also produces engineered materials that are especially used in the insulation industry. This sector is growing rapidly as well.
“As 40 percent of the energy consumption in the EU goes to heating or cooling buildings, better insulation is key to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions”, Frilund points out.