Valmet joins the REDYSIGN project to advance a sustainable fresh meat packaging

Mar 27, 2024

Valmet has recently joined the REDYSIGN project consortium. This ambitious initiative aims to develop a bio-based recyclable alternative for fresh meat packaging to replace conventional packaging materials. The REDYSIGN project is also a part of Valmet’s Beyond Circularity ecosystem.

Photo: REDYSIGN project

The world is facing an unprecedented pollution crisis. One of the biggest problems is the enormous amount of plastic-based packaging waste and its limited recycling rate, which is only 40 percent globally. The REDYSIGN project contributes to overcoming this by developing new sustainable bio-based materials for fresh meat packaging. The aim is for every intermediate product – the tray, the barrier coating, the absorbent pad and the transparent film – to be made almost exclusively from wood constituents. The packaging will also integrate two food quality sensors – one to detect early rotting, the other to identify breaks in the cold chain.

By replacing fossil-based with bio-based packaging, REDYSIGN aims for a triple impact: an environmental one, contributing to the EU’s 2050 long-term strategy for a climate-neutral Europe; an economic one, paving the way for the marketability of new sustainable packaging products that are in high demand in the fresh meat market and beyond; and a social one, expanding the market share for fiber-based packaging. New jobs in the forestry value chain and the bio-based industries will thus be created.

Photo: REDYSIGN project

The project will also implement two innovations to enhance recycling efficiency. The first involves the use of specific identification markers to accurately sort bio-contaminated products at the waste treatment plant. The second relies on the application of advanced oxidation treatments to sanitize materials and reduce energy consumption in the subsequent fiber recovery operation, thus making the recycling process more energy efficient.

REDYSIGN is a four-year project funded by the Circular Bio-based Europe Joint Undertaking. It is led by Tecnalia Research and Innovation, with active participation from 13 consortium partners from seven European countries.


Unique technology for Microfibrillated Cellulose production

Valmet has pioneered a unique refiner-based technology for Microfibrillated Cellulose (MFC) production, which makes it a natural fit for the REDYSIGN project. As the technology provider for MFC production, Valmet is developing solutions to increase energy efficiency and improve the circularity of materials.

"In the REDYSIGN project, Valmet will develop refining processes for MFC production based on conical refiner technology, with significant energy consumption savings. The production process combines advanced refiner and plate technology with an innovative control system designed to maximize production efficiency," says Heli Kangas, Development Manager in Valmet’s Stock Preparation and Recycled Fiber business unit and Valmet’s representative in the REDYSIGN project.


The REDYSIGN project is also a part of Valmet’s Beyond Circularity ecosystem. Beyond Circularity is Valmet’s R&D program and ecosystem for transforming waste and emissions into valuable resources for sustainable growth and accelerating the green transition.