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Domtar lauded for recyclable bag design

Forest products company one of nine winners in Beyond the Bag Challenge
Domtar has created a new, cellulose-based material that can be employed as an alternative to the plastic used in retail bags.

Domtar is being recognized for creating a new take on the plastic retail bag.

The forest products company was one of nine selected by the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag as part of the Beyond the Bag Challenge.

A three-year, multi-million-dollar initiative of the Center for the Circular Economy at Closed Loop Partners, the challenge prompts companies to come up with alternatives to the single-use plastic bag in an effort to cut down on environmental pollution.

For its entry, Domtar designed a material, entirely sourced from cellulose fibres, that is stretchy, strong, and lightweight, and can be recycled after its intended use.

“Domtar is excited to know that the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag partners are committed to real and long-term sustainable change in carrier bags,” Krista Kozachanko, senior specialist in Domtar's innovation technology department, said in a Feb. 16 news release.

“By understanding consumer, retailer and environmental needs, Domtar has presented a circular solution that will have a lasting impact on the way we carry purchased goods.”

The company said the material performs in ways that aren't commonly associated with paper.

It stretches and flexes up to 40 per cent, and is stronger than conventional kraft paper.

It's up to 47 per cent lighter than conventional bag paper, and it's sustainable: it's responsibly sourced and can be recycled at the end of its life.

The nine winners now will work with the consortium to prototype, refine and test the viability of their designs to scale as long-term solutions.

Domtar is headquartered in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Its Northern Ontario operations include a pulp mill in Dryden and a pulp, paper, and biomaterials plant in Espanola.