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Portland lab owned by Swedish company BillerudKorsnÍs creates paper replacements for plastic packaging

BILLERUDKORSNäS DESIGNERS USE A SHAKING MACHINE TO TEST THE PROTECTIVE POWER OF THE PAPER PACKAGING THEY CREATE.

CASSANDRA PROFITA/OPB/EARTHFIX - BillerudKorsnäs designers use a shaking machine to test the protective power of the paper packaging they create.Packaging designer Ryan Gaither believes in the power of cardboard.

He's laid down a massive sheet of it – as big as a king-size bed – at the Swedish-owned BillerudKorsnäs design lab in Portland.

He flips the switch on a machine that zips around the cardboard, stabbing and cutting it with a robotic exact-o knife.

"Basically anything we create — any design we're looking to validate – we cut out with this machine," he said. "This lets us know if we're on the right track or on a fool's errand."

A growing number of campaigns to ban plastic waste are putting pressure on companies to find alternatives – not just for straws, but for all kinds of plastic packaging.

Years ago, the Swedish paper company BillerudKorsnäs acquired a Portland packaging company called Paccess. Their office in Southwest Portland is now a lab where engineers redesign packaging and test out paper products they can sell into a budding market for plastic replacements.

This story originally appeared in OPB's EarthFix, a news partner of the Portland Tribune. To read the rest of the story:

https://www.opb.org/news/article/portland-environment-paper-plastic-replacements/

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