Responding to the need for alternative protective packaging products, the global molded fiber industry has recently increased production of molded fiber products to replace many non-renewable materials currently used in packaging for foodservice, industrial, and consumer product packaging.

Joseph Grygny, Executive Director Emeritus and Founder

June 23, 2020

2 Min Read
New Fiber Innovations molded pulp factory interior
The new Fiber Innovations molded pulp facility in Mexicali, Mexico, can produce prototypes, as well as small- and large-volume orders of protective packaging.Photo courtesy IMFA

Product protection during shipping and storage is one of the main jobs of packaging. Over the years, a focus on sustainability in packaging has presented a challenge for many types of materials used as cushioning. Non-renewable materials, including many types of plastic packaging, have been seen to contribute to the ecological threat by using limited fossil materials. One solution is using natural, biodegradable, agricultural fibers in packaging, particularly waste fibers.

As a renewable resource, molded fiber continues to have a positive impact on our global environment. And the use of molded fiber packaging is predicted to grow globally at 6% per year for the next three years, according to The Freedonia Group.

Many molded fiber packaging manufacturers have recently added capacity with new machinery or completely new factories. For example, Moulded Fibre Products Ltd. in Lincolnshire, UK, has increased its production capability threefold in the past four years, UFPT established a new factory in El Paso, Texas, last year, and Henry Molded Products has recently expanded capacity in its Lebanon, PA, factory and its facility in Greenville, SC. 

Additionally, Fiber Innovations in Mexicali, Mexico, near the Arizona border, is a current example of the expansion of molded fiber product manufacturing in North America. The owners of this factory are not new to the industry, though. They bring more than 20 years of molded fiber product manufacturing “know-how” to the market.


New molded pulp factory exterior

With its new factory, Fiber Innovations sports a new building, new furnishings, and new manufacturing machinery. The multiple molding machines can be used independently to adapt to prototyping requirements and low-volume orders.

Along with packaging design services, Fiber Innovations is now uniquely positioned in the molded fiber manufacturing industry to address the persistent problem, for many potential customers, of minimum order requirements because most molding facilities are designed for high-volume production.

Fiber Innovations is capable of producing both small- and large-volume orders.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new awareness of conditions that can affect the entire world. Curiously, climate change, which globally manifests its negative effects daily, has not proportionately produced the same level of response. The use of fossil fuels, and products produced by them, continue to present a serious threat to the world community as we know it today.


About the Author(s)

Joseph Grygny

Executive Director Emeritus and Founder, International Molded Fiber Association

Joseph Grygny, International Molded Fiber Association executive director emeritus, founded the IMFA in 1999 after he retired from Menasha Corp.’s Special Products unit as manager of marketing and product development. Grygny continues to engage in molded fiber packaging research and connects with molded fiber product manufacturers worldwide. He is a perpetual member of the IMFA Board of Directors and also participates in current IMFA activities. The group’s mission statement is “to promote the global use of molded fiber products and to advocate for environmental sustainability.”

Sign up for the Packaging Digest News & Insights newsletter.

You May Also Like