R&D and Innovations

Novamont To Lead the Pulpacktion Project

Within the PULPACKTION project, a cellulose-based packaging solution able to compete with current fossil based packaging systems will be launched. This will be accomplished by the combination of improved cellulose pulps and bio-based polymers.

We are bridging the innovation gap, moving from laboratory results to industrial implementation.


The use of improved wet moulded cellulose as the main packaging material will reduce the final package weight and increase its sustainability, providing a controlled shaped part.

PULPACKTION project will develop fully bio-based packaging materials with a high percentage of cellulose for food and electronic market applications.

The package solution will help reduce the waste streams by substituting plastics with an eco-friendly bio-based solution.​


Pulpacktion envisions a 100% bio-based integral packaging solution with similar properties as existing fossil-based packaging solutions.

The new product will fulfill medium and high barrier requirement’s as demanded from food and electronics industries. Pulpacktion will provide replacements to current fossil-based packaging using well-known and largely used material such as cellulose.

Project Goals

  • 100% Bio-based
  • 50 % CO₂ reduction
  • 10 % Lighter
  • New bio-additives for wet compression moulded packages
  • 100% bio-based polymer films and coatings with enhanced properties
  • Develop bio-based inks for printing

Technical Goals

  • New pulp formulations that incorporate biopolymers and bio-additives, for wet moulding applications.
  • Production at industrial scale of wet compression moulded packages Demonstrate on Industrial scale.
  • production of new 100% bio-based polymer materials with enhanced barrier and mechanical properties for film and coating applications.
  • Development of bio-based inks to be used for inkjet printing applications.
  • Implementation at industrial scale of the production of 100% bio-based tailored-to-purpose packaging.
  • Bridging the innovation gap, moving from laboratory results to industrial implementation.

Project Data

  • Type of project: DEMO project
  • Participants: 12 partners from 8 countries
  • Duration: Four year project
  • Total budget: € 12 million
  • Funding: BBI funded (Grant agreement No. 720744).
  • BOAC: Relevant stakeholders and relations

Funding & Grant

This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 720744.

Consortium Members

  • ITENE is a Spanish research institute located in Valencia and they are leading development of food packaging and food contact products. Their expectation: A 100% bio based packaging.
  • Borregaard is located in Norway, they make specialty cellulose such as Micro fibrillated Cellulose, MFC. Their aim is to evaluate the potential of MFC in packaging products. The MFC as mechanical properties can help to increase the trays strength (dry and wet), density, barrier properties and smoothness.
  • CHIMIGRAF is an ink producer located in Barcelona. They want to optimize bio based inkjet formulations and validation of the QR traceability system.
  • DuPont (Genencor, Netherlands) is an industrial bioscience company that makes for examples biopolymers from sugar (polysaccharides). Their products can be used as an additive in several applications in this project, for example print coatings, strength additive, barrier film/coating and moulded fibre applications.
  • IRIS is a company located in Barcelona. They develop software for Industry4.0 and their aim is to develop a new optical system for quality control. IRIS expectations is to acquire new knowledge about paper based packaging, develop new optical system for quality control of QR codes, full traceability solution for packaging and extend the network with the member of the BOAC.
  • Rottneros AB intention is to become a world leader in supplying specialty pulp to the moulded fibre industry. Rottneros AB already have over 10 years of experience of supplying pulp to moulded fibre applications. They will contribute to fulfill the aim of the project and enhance networking for future collaborations.
  • Rottneros Packaging AB aim is to develop the business and launch fully biodegradable trays to the market by developing the existing technology and process by gaining advantage of the Pulpacktion Project input.
  • Rise is a Swedish research and technology institute with extensive knowledge of pulp and paper unit operations. Innventias expectations of the project is to take part in the developmental process of sustainable viable packaging solutions, develop advanced technical packaging design, tools and methods to predict and design sensory qualities and develop material concepts suitable for advanced fibre moulding.
  • Novamont is a producer of biobased polymers and starches, located in Italy. They have over a thousand patents in this field. They can for instance make lifecycle assessments, biodegradable tests and material characterization. Novamonts expectation in the project is to present biopolymers to be incorporated into the wet moulded product. Validation of at least one formulation to produce coatings to enhance barrier or surface properties of the wet moulded materials or films for the production of lids for packages.
  • MI-Plast is a Croatian company dedicated to development of bio polymers such as bio polyesters and final applications i.e. end products (films for primary, secondary and tertiary packaging) from biomaterials and recycled materials. Their expectations are to build a portfolio of IP (patents, industrial secrets and know-how)
  • TECNARO GmbH develop, produce and market high quality bio-based and biodegradable materials. TECNARO as a compounder will implement on an industrial scale the production of the enhanced blends and composites.
  • Total -Corbion is the global market leader in lactic acid, lactic acid derivatives, and lactides. They will work both with new pulp formulations and new barrier concepts where their products and know-how will ensure success.

Project Pulpacktion has 11 phases:

Phase 1 will investigate the likely requirements of potential customers and stakeholders, providing the consumer insight required to address expectations. This will assist the project in determining the optimal material compositions that meet customer perceptions. It will also validate functionality and credence attributes for the targeted final applications.

Phase 2 determines the optimal choice of basic components – pulp type, bio-based polymers and additives to ensure quality, suitability and cost effective production of compression-moulded pulps. The type and mix of components need to be selected as a function of the production process and specific applications.

Phase 3 will optimise the wet moulding process for cellulose-based packaging for the pulp slurries developed in Phase 2.This will deploy specific moulds, drying steps and overall design issues.

Phase 4 undertakes production of the composites, coatings and films to reach the requirements needed for the selected final packaging applications. These will be 100 percent bio-based materials, incorporated onto the wet moulded cellulose-based package as structure. Two different structures will be developed, one that will be applied as a coating to the compression-moulded part; the other is a lid for use in food packaging or as blister packs for electronics packaging. Several technologies will be combined to meet the final properties demanded by each targeted application.

Phase 5 develops traceability solutions for the packaging, by developing bio-based inks that will print QR codes as an information tool and will validate the QR system in a pilot. This phase will also see the development of a specific, dedicated software and vision system to host information about the products.

Phase 6 will implement the innovations developed in the earlier phases on a semi-industrial scale. Firstly, the wet moulded cellulose based part of the package will be assembled with the improved bio-based materials from Phase 4. This will validate their application in food and electronics. The ultimate aim of this phase is to deliver sizeable quantities of the two demonstrators for further activities, including biodegradability studies, validation of product-package interactions and dissemination activities.

Phase 7 validates the performance of the developed prototypes in their targeted applications. This involves selecting three ready meal packs with differing requirements and the most restrictive electronic products. The products will be packed in semi-industrial settings; for the food packaging, this will be a specialist facility. The performance of the product-package will be evaluated during its packaging and distribution until it reaches the consumer; for the ready meals, shelf life will also be evaluated.

Phase 8 will undertake a full lifecycle assessment of the new packing solutions. The objective is to demonstrate a 50 percent reduction in emission compared to competing fossil-based packaging for food and electronics applications. It will also determine both the socio-economic viability of the solutions and their biodegradation.

Phase 9 is dedicated to protecting IPR for the outputs of the project and to disseminating and exploiting the project as results both in Europe and in the global food and electronic packaging industries. Dissemination activities will include a dedicated, regularly updated project website, brochures, press releases, attendance at congresses, conferences and trade fairs, journal publications, project newsletters, a video and a series of European workshops.

Phase 10 addresses managing the Consortium. It will define, propose and establish the activity plan of activities for project management as well as the organisation and operating procedures. It will also address the exchange of information between partners, reporting and quality.

This phase will provide the guidelines for the project management during the whole project duration, striking a balance between control and flexibility. It covers liaison with the European Commission on ongoing evaluation of progress.

Phase 11 will ensure that the project meets with all ethics requirements demand


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