Addressing the need for sustainable consumer packaging through collaborative innovation

Addressing the need for sustainable consumer packaging through collaborative innovation

Developing packaging that has a sustainable and positive end-of-life journey is a key focus area for both Ahlstrom and its customers. In partnership with customer, S-One Labels and Packaging, Ahlstrom has worked collaboratively with S-OneLP’s product development team to develop a paper-based laminated structure specifically for food packaging, that is made from certified industrial compostable components.

Collaborative Innovation – challenging the boundaries of how to use fiber

Several innovation factors are considered in developing truly sustainable packaging, from imparting certain technologies such as moisture and grease resistance, to end-of-life sustainability goals. When S-OneLP approached Ahlstrom, the team was clear about its goals related to end-of-life in addition to the need for speed-to-market.

Dan Halkyard, S-OneLP
“When I approached the team at Ahlstrom, one of the areas that attracted us to trial its products was the ability to choose from BPI® certified base papers,” said Dan Halkyard, Senior Director New Product Development with S-OneLP. “While we worked to ensure the basis weight and opacity were good for our end-use application, some of the additional benefits of its paper offering was compostability certification and good lay flat after lamination.” Halkyard adds that these benefits enabled the development of the end-use application faster for S-OneLP’s customer.  He states that Ahlstrom was very supportive and understood the need for lab sampling and pilot scale-up of multiple certified paper variations before landing on the perfect product. “Ahlstrom understood what it takes to balance product fitness for use with the requirements for commercial compostability, unlike other specialty paper suppliers we contacted.”

“Innovation is at our core,” explained Travis Dahlke, Vice President for Ahlstrom’s North American-based Food Packaging business. “In partnership with our customers like S-OneLP, we innovate solutions by challenging the boundaries for how to use fiber. We have expertise in paper technologies, fiber refining, surface treatment and converting techniques. This is an example of how our diverse range of technologies were able to meet the needs of our customer’s specific end-use application, while also meeting customer sustainability goals.”

Halkyard explained that having contacts at multiple levels, from sales and marketing to product development, enabled the team to sample several compostable-certified papers and provided an environment for multiple streams of feedback. When the need arose to trial on pilot machines and on our customer’s assets, he emphasized that Ahlstrom provided optimum trial rolls and remained flexible throughout the fitness testing process, which ultimately reduced development costs.

“Ahlstrom’s willingness to collaborate and help in choosing the right base paper for the end-use application shortened our R&D time to make our final laminated structure,” Halkyard continued. He concluded that having pre-certified compostable components in a multi-layered structure helps companies, like S-OneLP, add value through lamination of a paper to a biobased sealant and shorten the compost certification cost and timeline.

For more information on Ahlstrom’s collaborative innovation process, visit:

For more information on S-One LP’s product portfolios, visit: