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Sustainable packaging with wood-based plastics - An interview with Jaakko Kaminen, CEO of Woodly
Source:Adsale Plastics Network    Editor:JK    Date:04.Nov.2020

Packaging is reported to be the largest market for bioplastics currently. Thanks to its properties, bioplastics packaging offers the qualities of conventional packaging yet greater sustainability features.

 

Woodly, a Finnish startup developing wood cellulose based bioplastics, markets its product also called Woodly.

 

In an interview with Adsale Plastics Network, Jaakko Kaminen, CEO of Woodly, explained to us the potential of this new material.


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Jaakko Kaminen, CEO of Woodly.


“We have discovered that Woodly is a very versatile material that has a lot of potential to be used in various types of applications whether we are talking about packaging or products,” introduced Kaminen. “In the beginning we are going to focus on packaging instead of products or any other type of applications. And inside of that packaging sector, we are focusing on various types of film packaging.”

 

Woodly can be recycled with existing plastic recycling technology. The company is also working together with a Finnish company Kiilto to develop Woodly packages for domestic cleaning products. The goal is to have the first novel packages launched by the end of 2021.


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Closed production loop of Woodly plastics with NGR recycling line.


“Actually we have announced partnerships with some Finland based companies, such as Wipak Group and Amerplast Ltd. We already have packers in Europe, the U.S. and Asia. We just prefer to keep those partners as a secret at this point,” stated Kaminen. “But I would say that Woodly is born to be global and we have decided Woodly to be compatible to get system manufacturing technology, which means that we don't need to build plants and production lines all over the world to scale up and go big but instead we can partner with the plastic industry that already has a global infrastructures and a hundred years’ work experience. Because those infrastructures are global so that makes us global quite fast as well.

 

“Currently we are engaging in conversation with potential customers that are the global brand owners. So I would say that Woodly is born to be global but because we are Finland based then it’s easier to start there,” he added.

 

One of the challenges of promoting the use of bioplastics is the higher cost when compared with conventional plastics. Regarding this, Woodly intends to make its product a cost-efficient material in terms of value.


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Woodly is a wood cellulose based bioplastics.


“Many times when people talk about cost efficiency they simply mean “cheap”, while in fact cost efficiency means you get value for the money you pay, no matter how much you pay. So for us the cost efficiency begins from driving the value up instead of driving the cost down,” said Kaminen.

 

Kaminen further elaborated, “I mean Woodly will never be a material that will compete on price but it will compete on value. But that having been said of course there are no gold and diamonds in the recipe of Woodly, so the economy of scale we do is work for us. We’re able to produce more value and then optimize and centralize the production, of course the production cost will go down as well.”

 

Woodly believes that future plastics are generally renewable and recyclable. It has set short and long term plans on the environmental aspect. At present, Woodly is focusing on the packaging field, while making effort to achieve 100% renewable and recyclable plastics.

 

“We want to replace the traditional fossil based plastics with Woodly. And we want to make the sustainable purchasing decision easily and regularly available for the consumers,” he concluded.

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