History of moulded fibre
Moulded cellulose, or moulded fibre, is a packaging material composed mainly of recycled paper and cardboard. Although its industrial production started over 100 years ago, moulded fibre has only recently become a reference material for packaging and for chocking numerous products . Often associated with egg boxes, it is now used in many other sectors of activity and appreciated for its protective and ecological properties.
Birth of moulded fibre
At the start of the 20th century, a moulded technique based on cellulose and wood waste was perfected in the United States. The process was then industrialised to manufacture disposable plates and trays for the local lumberjacks. This know-how was soon extended to other applications such as cake trays and moulds for bakers, paper plates for grocers and picnic packaging for families.
From disposable tableware to egg transport
Faced with the success of moulded fibre, its incredible strength and excellent shock-absorption properties, special packaging articles have been designed since as long ago as 1931 to store and transport fresh eggs.
Until then, eggs were sold loose and carried in baskets or paper bags, resulting in a 30 % breakage rate during transport. These first mould fibre trays (holding 30 eggs) therefore considerably simplified egg transport between producers, shops and customers.
It was during the 1960s that the modern shape of the egg box, equipped with a practical snap-shut lid, was invented.
Multipurpose packaging for everyday products
While widely used in packaging solutions for the poultry sector, other fields of activity are now taking an increasing interest in moulded cellulose due to its technical properties.
In the food industry, for example, porous fibre fabric trays absorb the moisture from fruit and provide continuous aeration through micropores to keep the fruit fresh.
This solution is also used regularly to protect and chock electronic or everyday consumer products.
Distribution in the use of moulded cellulose by sector of activity
Modern and ecological production
Moulded fibre packaging is manufactured using recycled materials. Fort many years, companies such as CDL (Celluloses de la Loire) specialised in this material have invested in research to develop innovating techniques and produce increasingly efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions, to play an active role in a sustainable policy for protection of the environment.