May 24, 2022 (Press Release) - Walki has invested in the Finnish start-up Dolea. Together the two companies will start the production of recyclable and printable paper straws in Ylöjärvi, Finland and in Garstang in the UK.
Plastic straws are banned or in the process of being phased out in several parts of the world. In the EU and the UK, the Single-use Plastics Directive is already in effect, forcing brand owners to switch to fibre-based alternatives. There have been some quality challenges with the current paper straw alternatives on the market as they tend to get soggy in hot drinks, making them not only unpleasant to use but also dangerous for children.
The Finnish start-up Dolea has innovated a recyclable and durable fibre-based straw that uses 25% less material and stays intact in all sorts of drinks including hot beverages. Dolea has developed a proprietary machine technology for producing the straws in an efficient manner that also enables the manufacturing of printed straws based on end customers' design.
Walki's new start-up investment initiative Walki Ventures has invested in Dolea and as a part of the arrangement Dolea's machines will be relocated to Walki's plant in Ylöjärvi and new production capacity will be installed in Walki's Garstang plant in the UK during the autumn 2022. Walki will also sell the straws in the UK under its own brand Walki®Straw.
"As the straw is certified as paper according to PAP21, there is no need for special handling in the recycling process, meaning that the straws are fully recyclable. As the straw also has excellent printability, customers can brand their straws with logos, etc.," explains Dudley Jones, Head of Consumer Sales at Walki.
The market potential for fibre-based straws is huge as over 9 billion plastic straws have been used annually in the UK alone.
"As a pioneer in fibre-based materials, we are very excited to partner with Dolea. If the world is to succeed in moving away from plastic straws, we need recyclable fibre-based alternatives that are pleasant to use for consumers. Dolea has developed a way to make functional and recyclable straws as well as the machines for manufacturing them. We are happy to contribute with the production," says Jones.
"This is a strategic partnership that not only provides Dolea with the resources and capabilities to scale up to industrial level production, but a major step towards securing ability to deliver and meeting customer demand, that is growing by the day," says Mika Salomäki, CEO of Dolea.
Walki is an international group organized in three business areas: Consumer Packaging, Industrial Packaging, and Engineered Materials. The Group has operations in twelve different countries, both in Europe and Asia. In 2021, the Group's annual turnover was approx. 500 million euros employing around 1400 people. To learn more, visit: www.walki.com.
SOURCE: Walki Group Oy
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