• The packaging business is booming, underpinned by the need for sustainable solutions
  • Papyrus, a company invited to COP27, makes packaging out of banana trunks
  • A look at other ASX stocks in this space

Under the blazing sunshine of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, surrounded by sea and desert, the world’s biggest climate event COP27 got underway last Sunday.

More than 100 world leaders have started arriving at the seaside town to attend the annual two-week event which will be held until Friday November 18.

Among those expected to be there include US President Biden and French President Macron.

At the business end of town, mining magnate Andrew Forrest is already there pitching his green hydrogen, while Macquarie boss Shemara Wikramanayake will focus her message on climate finance.

There’s also a low-profile ASX company that got an invite to the event, Papyrus Australia (ASX:PPY).

Papyrus has developed a world-first sustainable technology that converts the waste trunk of the plantain and banana palm into alternatives to forest wood products – to be used in paper, furniture, building, and eco packaging.

The Papyrus process involves 100% use of the renewable, biodegradable and natural fibre source, banana tree trunk. It’s a chemical-free process that does not consume any chemicals or water during manufacturing.

The company’s CEO Ramy Azer said he founded Papyrus because of his Egyptian heritage and his interest in the paper making techniques of ancient Egyptians.

According to Azer, bananas and plantains are grown over more than 10 million hectares across 164 countries.

“We discovered a gold mine with this wonderful long strong parallel virgin fiber (banana trunk) that has a phenomenal tensile strength,” said Azer.

“And it just was left there to rot releasing a huge amount of methane and Co2 into the environment, and everyone who tried to use it just failed.”

Carbon friendly process

Azer explained that Papyrus’ process to convert banana trunks to end products is not at all carbon extensive.

The full interview can be watched here on Papyrus’ website.


Source: Papyrus website


“Inside these trees are chambers that are filled with fluid at a slightly higher pressure than the atmosphere, so it gives this flexible material almost an erection that allows it to carry 100 kilograms of fruit on one side only,” explained Azer.

Azer added that 90% of the banana trunk’s weight is made of sap, which contains biochemistry that makes the plant grow so rapidly.

“When we analysed this sap, we discovered that it can’t be thrown away.

“And so we became a zero waste type of facility where every bit of the banana tree from leaf to sap is being converted into products like liquid organic fertiliser, furniture veneer.

“From the inner core, we also produce pulp for the paper and cardboard industry.”

Papyrus has recently completed a series of trials to produce commercial quantities of moulded food packaging products including burger clam shells and egg cartons.

Through its joint venture entities, the company has established operations in the Eqyptian cities of Sohag and Sharqiah.

Azer estimates that with approximately 100,000 acres of banana plantation, producing more than two million tonnes of agri-waste per year, it is estimated there is potential for 40 Sohag-sized factories to operate in Egypt.

“My role is to continue on that path and develop the next line of better, cheaper, and more environmentally products, and find everything we can get out of the banana trees.”


Other eco packaging stocks on the ASX


SECOS develops sustainable packaging materials, and sells its proprietary biodegradable and compostable resins, packaging products and high-quality cast films to a blue-chip global customer base.

The company’s well-patented business is integrated all the way from resin production, into film (cast and blown) production, and can also develop bespoke compostable solutions for a range of applications.

The expansion of its MyEcoBag range has been rapid, and it’s now available via over 1200 retail stores including Woolworths, Officeworks, and Pacchini.

And just today, Coles Group (ASX:COL) said it will launch MyEcoBag compostable bag products in 770 retail stores across Australia.

SECOS says it will continue to look for opportunities to add additional compostable bin liner SKUs and new products such as its MyEcoPet dog waste bags into its existing relationships with Coles, Woolworths, and other stores.

This strategy will “ensure SECOS captures as much market share as possible with its portfolio of MyEco branded products.”

Source: SECOS



Close the Loop is an Australian sustainable packaging company focusing on the circular economy.

It creates packaging products that includes recyclable and made-from-recycled contents. The company also collects, sorts, reclaims and reuses resources that would otherwise go to landfill.

The company has two decades of sustainability innovation experience and operates over 100,000 collection points in the US. It has claimed that 100% of the Fortune 500 companies are its customers.

Recently, CLG commenced a take-back trial in China for Hewlett Packard’s (HP) Indigo products, with the aim of assisting HP customers create a circular economy supply chain of their own.

Orora (ASX:ORA)

Orora is a total packaging solutions specialist, providing anything from glass bottles to aluminium cans and boxes and cartons.

The company’s proprietary Enviro-Kraft boxes are made with 100% post-consumer recycled fiber, and have the strength of 32 ECT boxes.

Orora is also developing packaging solutions that replace VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) with water-based inks and solvents. This cutting-edge technology costs less than traditional methods and significantly reduces VOCs.

VOCs are said to be some of the most damaging byproducts of packaging processes and materials to the environment.

Amcor (ASX:AMC)

On the larger end of town, Amcor is a $20 billion market capped American-Australian global packaging company.

It develops and produces flexible packaging, rigid containers, specialty cartons, closures and services for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical-device, home and personal-care.

The company is focused on making packaging that is increasingly lighter weight, recyclable, and reusable, and made using an increasing amount of recycled content.

Under its new EcoGuard brand, Amcor says it will deliver more and more sustainable packaging solutions as part of its 2025 pledge.

In October, Amcor also announced the release of its first TCFD report (Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure), which includes commitment on a climate action.


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