Biofore Magazine 2020


Quenching our thirst for plastic Many have tried to replace plastic

with ecological alternatives. Now, a Finnish firmmay have cracked the code by turning to biocomposites made fromwood fibres. W hen David Solomon , CEOof Finnishhome carbonation com- pany Mysoda, began making plans for his firm’s latest device, he knew it had to be different. The company had a solid share of the Finnish home carbonation market but wanted to expand internationally.

team aligned with those of consumers. More than 70% of those surveyed were interested in a product that was not made from traditional fossil-based plastic. The new UPM Formi EcoAce material offered the ideal solution. It behaves like plastic but is actually made of biocom- posite. The material is formed from wood fibres and renewable polymers (on a mass balance principle). Products made from UPM Formi EcoAce can be produced us- ing the samemoulds and in the same facil- ities as fossil-based plastics. Thematerial even has an edge over oth- er biocomposites because it is made from residual material from the pulp industry, explains Jonas Eklöf , application devel- opment manager at UPMFormi. “It’s more sustainable than other bio- basedmaterials because it doesn’t require extra harvesting and doesn’t disrupt the food chain likematerialsmade fromsugar cane or rice,” says Eklöf. This extra aspect piqued the interest of Mysoda. “Finland as a country is all about wood, so it was quite natural to look for some- thing in wood composites,” says David Solomon. And, because UPM Formi EcoAce comes fromwood, it has anadditional ben- efit that fell in line with team’s overall goal to produce a product that was beautiful. “You can see the wood chips,” Solomon explains. “Every device is unique, so there are no two Mysoda devices that are the same.”

“So, we made the decision to design the best sparkling water maker in the world,” Solomon says. But whatmakes the best sparklingwater maker in the world? For Solomon and his design partner Arni Aromaa at Pentagon Design, the appliance had to be beautiful, functional and –most of all – sustainable. “When we started the Mysoda project, it became very obvious that the home carbonation process is sustainable by its nature because it is eliminating the use of plastics in the water industry. Since they have this strong sense of sustainability, we thought it made sense that the product also should be as sustainable as possible, andwe didn’t want to use fossil-basedma- terials,” says Aromaa. “There has been of course a strong sustainability angle always, but today be- cause of the issue of climate change, sus- tainabilityhas been thenumber one thing. The shift frombeing human-centric to be- ing planet-centric is the most important discussion in design today, and that puts sustainability at the core of everything.” Market research conducted in Finland and France showed that the goals of the

Each Mysoda machine is unique due to the visible wood chips used in its construction.

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