Dart Container Invests in Red Leaf

September 21, 2023

Leading Manufacturer Secures Exclusive Foodservice Packaging Rights to Red Leaf Wheat Straw Pulp 

Red Leaf is converting wheat straw to market pulp, bio-energy and bio-materials

KELOWNA – Dart Container Corporation, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of food and beverage packaging, has become a strategic equity partner in Kelowna’s Red Leaf Pulp Ltd. The investment secures Dart’s exclusive rights to use Red Leaf’s alternative fiber generated from wheat straw residuals for its molded fiber foodservice packaging.

Red Leaf, a private Canadian company, is scaling up a proprietary and cost-competitive process to convert residual wheat straw into market pulp and next generation bio-products. Their innovative and low-carbon process addresses the supply of materials for the growing market for sustainable packaging, tissue/towel and specialty paper products.

The Red Leaf process uses proven off-the-shelf equipment and will produce economic quantities of market pulp from wheat straw at scale for the first time in North America. The key innovations (and patents pending) that unlock fiber production at scale are a result of Red Leaf’s drive to solve a global problem: How to use byproducts of alternative fiber production.

Red Leaf has established a climate-positive pathway to convert the byproducts and displace fossil-fuel based energy. The initial facility in Regina, Saskatchewan, is in the final stages of design and financing and is expected to be in commercial operation by first quarter 2026.

The agreement also provides Dart access to significant capacity from Red Leaf’s initial conversion facility, scheduled for completion in 2026 in Regina, Saskatchewan. Terms of Dart’s investment will not be publicly disclosed.

“Dart is excited to partner with Red Leaf as part of our strategy to expand our molded fiber product line and offer additional packaging that earns our ProPlanet™ seal,” said Dart CEO Keith Clark. “Red Leaf is an innovative and environmentally focused company, and their disciplined approach to development of this and ensuing fiber projects gives us confidence in their abilities to become a major raw materials supplier.”

Red Leaf CEO Martin Pudlas stated that “the successful commissioning of our demonstration plant by our dedicated team was key to producing fiber that met Dart’s stringent quality and sustainability requirements. Collaborating with Dart’s tremendous technical and leadership teams over the past several months was incredibly rewarding and has deepened Red Leaf’s understanding of our fiber’s capabilities.

“We look forward to expanding our partnership with Dart as we advance toward final detailed design and financing of the Red Leaf Regina project,” Pudlas continued. “We’re also excited about the planned next steps for further testing of our alternative fiber and bio-products with foundational customers in other market segments.”

Dart makes everyday products from to-go containers and dinnerware to tamper-evident food packaging and the iconic red SOLO cup. Dart has 13,500 employees in 30 locations in three countries.

Business Examiner Staff/Submission


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