Our aim is to be a pioneer in the sawmill industry in terms of sustainability. For us, this means taking active steps to reduce the use of fossil materials and fuels in all our operations. Reducing the use of packaging plastics and increasing the use of recycled plastics to protect sawn timber has long been an area for development at UPM Timber. After testing and trial runs, we have decided to switch to using recycled plastic in the packaging of our timber in spring 2022.
"Our new wrapping material is 100% recyclable and contains at least 30% of recycled plastic. With this amount of recycled raw material, the quality of the wrapping will not be affected, but emissions will be significantly reduced", says Antti Koulumies, Head of UPM Timber business.
Our customers benefit as well
The transition to recycled plastic has also been planned together with UPM Timber's customers and their wishes have been listened to.
"Our customers are also pleased that we are able to further reduce our carbon footprint by increasing the use of recycled plastic. This naturally also reduces the carbon footprint of our customers' products as well and helps many of our customers to comply with new waste management regulations", says Mikko Hyvärinen, Sales Director at UPM Timber.
It has also been agreed with some customers that certain dimension of timber can be delivered to them without wrapping at all. This can be done if the timber is properly transported and stored.
Timber wrapping plays an important role
The purpose of the timber wrapping is to protect products from dirt, moisture and ultraviolet light. It must withstand mechanical stress and protect the products from damage during transport. The friction surface prevents bundles from slipping and allows them to be walked on.
UPM Timber will continue to develop its timber wrappings even after the transition to recycled plastic. Among other things, studies are underway to replace plastic entirely with other, fossil-free raw materials.
"Finding alternative materials is a big challenge, but we want to be at the forefront of environmental responsibility and continuously improve our own operations. In the future, timber wrapping could, for example, be fibre-based, made from bioplastics or a combination of both. Step by step, we are moving towards our sustainability goals", Antti Koulumies says.