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Grass Fibre as raw material for innovative Grass Paper products: the new economic and ecological resource for the European paper industry

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - Grass Paper (Grass Fibre as raw material for innovative Grass Paper products: the new economic and ecological resource for the European paper industry)

Okres sprawozdawczy: 2020-06-01 do 2020-11-30

With grass processed in a patented manner Creapaper introduces Grass Fibre as a highly innovative, sustainable and cost-efficient alternative raw material for the paper industry. About half of the 400 million tonnes paper produced worldwide every year are based on wood pulp. This consumes about 40% of the global industrial wood harvest. Moreover, transport and processing of the wood consume a lot of water, chemicals and energy. Costs and impact to nature are severe. Creapaper provides a unique solution to these problems by introducing Grass Fibres, produced by a novel patented mechanical process, as a new resource for the paper industry. This innovative material will reduce the raw material costs of paper mills (compared to wood pulp) and is compatible to their standard production equipment. Grass Paper products made from these fibres are free of noxious substances, printable and have a distinctive sustainable, yet premium appearance. They are therefore very attractive for food and non-food packaging, tissue and single use applications. Several awards in the packaging industry and first orders from large, well-known brands confirm these USPs of Grass Paper products. While Creapaper's primary customers for grass fibre are paper mills, also brand owners and retailers are addressed with grass paper and self-designed grass paper product mock-ups. This increases the demand for Grass Paper and Grass Fibres rapidly and allows a fast scale-up in the European key markets. According to independent experts, the grass fibre material has the potential to become the paper industry's third raw material source besides wood pulp and wastepaper. Creapaper has commissioned the first grass fibre production line and will transfer the stationary production process into a versatile mobile solution during this project. This will decrease the dependence on weather conditions during the grass harvesting as well as allow to optimise logistics, making the whole process even more sustainable and cost-efficient.
"Besides the stationary production centre going into operation during the first reporting period, Creapaper now can provide three different quality grades of Grass Fibre raw material for paper production. Trial productions of Grass Paper were performed with positive results from various paper mills. Several projects with brand owners and retailers in production and use of Grass Paper products opened up opportunities.
To further reduce transportation distances and allow a local production, a mobile production unit was realised. Creapaper designed, constructed, and commissioned the mobile resource module in collaboration with engineering partners.
The work for commercialisation and dissemination of Grass Paper boosted the popularity of Grass Paper and led to a strong rise in demand for Grass Fibre raw material for paper production. Grass fibre is even listed as standard material statistics in the European paper industry. We further developed our business model and move with our focus from Grass Fibre raw material production towards Grass Paper and Grass Paper products. With the ban of single-use plastics in the EU in 2021, we plan to use this business opportunity to develop and commercialise own Grass Paper products, like drinking straws, trays and plates, but as well support and advise paper mills, paper converters and package manufacturers in how to process Grass Fibre and Grass Paper with high productivity and cost-efficiency. The result will be mass marketable Grass Paper products at competitive prices. This creates a ""positive sustainable positioning"" as a supplier for the entire Grass Paper solution: from raw material to product.
In 2019, Creapaper was awarded the Red Herring Top 100 Awards Europe and North America. This proves the innovativeness and huge potential of Creapaper and Grass Paper. Furthermore, several paper manufacturers were won as customers, as well es many leading brand owners like EDEKA, REWE, ALDI, LIDL and DUNI realised pilot projects and products with Creapaper using Grass Paper."
Already during the first project year, Creapaper could establish as THE company for Grass Paper and unique partner for retail, system gastronomy and brand owners to develop intelligent packaging solutions and help to stem the global plastic flood. To produce Grass Paper, grass is prepared using our own patented process according to the requirements of the corresponding paper mill. With realisation of the mobile resource module, Creapaper will be able to process fresh grass. Thereby, Creapaper is able to reduce the dependence on weather conditions during the grass harvesting as well as to optimise logistics, making the whole process more sustainable and cost-efficient. With Grass Fibres as sustainable and cost-efficient raw material for the paper industry, Creapaper provides the third pillar besides wood pulp and recycled fibres. Grass Fibre is 40-70% cheaper than wood pulp, regionally available and by the novel patented mechanical process Creapaper only needs c. 2 litres water and c. 0.2 MWh energy per tonne Grass Fibre during production. In comparison: c. 2.2 tonnes wood, c. 6 tonnes water, c. 1.4 MWh energy and aggressive chemical treatments are necessary to produce 1 tonne virgin wood pulp. The LCA performed at the end of the project showed, that the production of our Grass Fibre raw material reduces the CO2 emissions by 95% compared to wood pulp production.
Creapaper graffiti on new production plant, Grass Fibre pellets 'GRASPAP' and CEO Uwe D'Agnone.