1. WHAT IS SULAPAC® MADE OF?
Sulapac Universal and Sulapac Premium materials are both made from sustainably sourced wood and natural biopolymers. They are 100% bio-based and non-toxic. The Sulapac Straw is made from non-toxic, sustainably sourced raw materials and wood processing side streams with maximized renewable material content. It is microplastic-free and marine-biodegradable making it the most sustainable mass-producible straw in the world.
2. WHAT CAN SULAPAC® BE USED FOR?
Sulapac® is a sustainable alternative for conventional plastic. Although not all plastic can or should be replaced, the number of possibilities is vast. Sulapac® can be used as packaging for everything from cosmetics to foodstuff to gift boxes and more. There are also countless application possibilities outside of packaging: Sulapac Universal material is suitable for rigid products such as clothing hangers, personal care items, and more – your imagination is the limit. The Sulapac Straw material can be adopted by existing straw manufacturers to replace plastic straws. It is a great example of a product that can have a substantial positive impact on the environment.
3. HOW CAN MY COMPANY START USING SULAPAC®?
If you are interested in the Sulapac Premium material for injection molding, simply ask for an offer. For optimal compatibility, please consult Sulapac experts regarding the injection molding machinery, from nozzle size to mold selection.
The Sulapac Straw material is a plug-in solution for plastic straw manufacturers and has been tested successfully with multiple production lines. If you are interested in producing more sustainably with the Sulapac Straw material, let us know.
4. WHY IS SULAPAC® A SUSTAINABLE CHOICE?
Sulapac material is fully biodegradable, non-toxic and microplastic-free. It is made of sustainably sourced raw materials. Most of our materials are also 100% bio-based.
By replacing conventional plastic with Sulapac you help solving the global plastic waste problem. Sulapac can be recycled via industrial composting. If a Sulapac product accidentally ends up in nature, it will biodegrade into CO2, water and biomass leaving no micro-plastics behind. In addition to being a zero-waste alternative, choosing Sulapac means a reduced carbon footprint.
5. HOW SHOULD I DISPOSE A SULAPAC PACKAGING OR PRODUCT AFTER USE?
The preferred disposal method is industrial composting, which means the material degrades into CO2, water and biomass in a biowaste treatment plant. Separate biowaste collection exists in many countries and regions already, and by 2023 it’s set to be mandatory in the EU. However, a compostability certificate such as the Seedling may be required in order for the product to be accepted in the recycling system. Our Premium Plus material has the Seedling certificate, which verifies that the packaging can be composted in the majority of composting plants in the EU. We are in the process of getting the certification for our other products as well. Please note that brands using Sulapac® need to apply for the Seedling certificate separately for the end product.
In case the industrial composting is not a feasible option, Sulapac packaging can be disposed with energy waste. When burned, there are no toxic emissions. Also, the carbon footprint is comparably small.
In a home compost the breakdown of Sulapac® may take considerable amount of time, as the conditions are milder compared to industrial compost. Home composting is something we are currently experimenting with.
6. ARE SULAPAC PRODUCTS RECYCLABLE?
Sulapac material is recyclable via industrial composting, a form of organic recycling. Other recycling options are currently under investigation. Potential future recycling methods include mechanical and chemical recycling, either as separately collected waste streams or within plastic waste streams. In our preliminary tests it has been shown that Sulapac Premium material can be mechanically recycled up to six times.
7. HOW IS SULAPAC® DIFFERENT FROM CONVENTIONAL PLASTIC?
Sulapac® is 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, microplastic free material (linkki microplastics blogiin), meaning if it accidentally ends up in nature it will not harm the ecosystem. An item made of conventional plastic takes hundreds of years to disappear in nature, and may release toxic substances, whereas a Sulapac cosmetics jar, for example, dissolves in a similar timeframe as a piece of natural wood of same size. Most Sulapac materials are 100% bio-based, whereas conventional plastic is fossil-based. This means Sulapac® is a climate friendly alternative to plastic.
8. SULAPAC® IS A MICROPLASTIC-FREE MATERIAL. WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Microplastics are plastic particles that are smaller than 5 millimeters in size in at least one dimension. Microplastic releasing materials cannot be digested by naturally-occurring microorganisms, and therefore, remain in nature for hundreds of years. Microplastics usually contain hazardous substances. Moreover, as they degrade into even smaller nanoparticles, they can be harmful for living organisms. Microplastic-free materials such as Sulapac® can be digested by naturally occurring micro-organisms, and eventually biodegrade to CO2, H2O and biomass. Sulapac promotes a zero-waste lifestyle; If a Sulapac product accidentally ends up in the natural environment, it biodegrades fully and leaves no microplastics behind.
9. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SULAPAC UNIVERSAL MATERIAL AND SULAPAC PREMIUM MATERIAL?
The look and feel, as well as production-related characteristics are slightly different. Sulapac Universal material contains wood flour and is designed to fit perfectly to existing production lines and moulds. It allows you to start producing sustainable products with minimal investment. Sulapac Premium material has large wood chips visible with a haptic touch. It is an ideal fit for sustainable products that aim for that exclusive feel. For optimal compatibility for injection molding machinery, please consult Sulapac experts. Both materials are 100% biodegradable, non-toxic, microplastic free and 100% bio-based.
10. WHERE CAN I BUY SULAPAC PRODUCTS?
Sulapac® is used by brands worldwide. Product introductions will be soon available on our website. Stay tuned!
If you are interested in using our material, or the ready-made Nordic Collection, ask for an offer and we will shortly be in touch.
11. WHAT IS A CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND HOW IS SULAPAC PART OF IT?
A circular economy is a global economic model that decouples growth and development from the growth of raw material consumption. It aims to design out waste and pollution and keep products, components and materials in loop at their highest utility and value. The Ellen McArthur Foundation describes circular economy as “a new way to design, make, and use things within planetary boundaries”.
Sulapac® is circular by design. The main components of Sulapac® are biodegradable plant-based binders and wood. The wood we use originates from sustainably managed forests, meaning it’s truly renewable and doesn’t contribute to deforestation. In fact, no tree is being cut down for us, as the wood chips and wood flour that we use come from industrial side streams – in other words, we turn wood waste into valuable products.
Promotion of circular economy is one of Sulapac’s key priorities. By only utilizing raw materials that are inherently safe for people and the environment we can promote cycles which are safe on the molecular level. Our ambitious objective has been to develop ‘bio-benign’ materials that would reduce the negative impacts on natural systems when leaked, while also being recyclable and competitive in terms of functionality and costs. Our leading design principle is to mimic nature. The use of biomass resources is based on the natural carbon cycle: in photosynthesis plants convert CO2 from the air and water into biomass with the help of solar energy. If a Sulapac product accidentally ends up in nature, it biodegrades fully without leaving microplastics behind. It doesn’t accumulate in the food chain, as it can be eaten up by microorganisms in nature.
A Sulapac jar, for example, can be reused for multiple purposes after its initial function. When the item reaches its end of life, it can be recycled via industrial composting, a form of material recycling that brings renewable resources for the economy. The mechanical recycling of Sulapac® Premium has been demonstrated by VTT, Technical Research Centre of Finland indicating that mechanical properties of the material last up to five cycles. Chemical recycling via pyrolysis is also an interesting option which we are currently investigating.
Circularity is rooted deep in Sulapac’s strategy and business models. In terms of our operations, processes and recipes we are committed to continual improvement in order to further minimize the environmental impact of our business and reduce our ecological footprint. As a member of the CE100 network, Sulapac was offered an opportunity to take part in the development of Circulytics, a new circularity measurement tool by Ellen Mac Arthur Foundation, which helps companies to recognize key focus areas and track their progress over time.