Fresh fibres as the main raw material for tissue products

Metsä Tissue uses fresh fibre originating from sustainably managed Northern forests as its main raw material. In addition, we produce also recycled fibre based tissues. At the moment, we use fresh fibres in over 70 % of our tissue paper production. Most of the fresh fibre raw material comes from within Metsä Group’s value chain, from Metsä Fibre in the form of pulp and originally from Metsä Forest in the form of wood raw material. This ensures good availability of the first-class sustainable and pure raw material from close-by and makes Metsä Tissue a unique operator in the European tissue paper market.

The origin of the wood we use is fully traceable, and it comes from sustainably managed and certified or controlled forests.

According to an extensive study from Fraunhofer (Wüstenhagen et al. 2023) the carbon emission of the transport of pulp within Europe is 5-times lower compared to pulp imports from Latin America. Metsä's pulp and especially the new bioproduct mills (Äänekoski and Kemi) are at the most modern level of technology. The bioproduct mills set new standard for the fresh fibre production, which allows to reduce the level of emission and overall ecological performance substantially. 

The production of fresh fibre tissue paper is materially more efficient than recycled tissue paper production, because the recycling process incurs a 40 % yield loss from purifying the recycled fibers. With increasingly strict regulations in the hygiene sector, we anticipate a growing reliance on fresh fibres from sustainable sources. Recycled fibres are best suited to end uses in which premium quality, product safety or high hygiene is not the key criteria.  

Besides Metsä other paper producers as well have stated that one should avoid to assume recycling is the most sustainable choice. Additionally, scientists claim that the technical development of the fresh fibre production has been emerging and emissions from fresh fibre pulp production has been reduces significantly (Ewijk et al. 2022; Wüstenhagen et al. 2023).

Future hygiene solutions

The use of fresh fibres with modern technology is the best hygiene solution for the future. There are clear benefits in making hygiene tissues from fresh fibres:

  1. Constant high quality – softness and high water absorption
  2. Pure and hygienic – no concerns with product safety
  3. Reduced raw material consumption - with fresh fibre lighter products are made
  4. Secured supply chain – no availability issue
  5. Certified raw material


Biodiversity in focus

In the Nordic forests, both the forest owners and the industry pay special attention to preserving biodiversity. This is done for instance by leaving retention trees and biodiversity stumps and by preserving standing and fallen decayed trees in the forests to provide living spaces for many different species, including fungi, insects and birds. Biodiversity is also protected by leaving buffer zones are left along waterways to prevent nutrient runoff into them. In addition, the most valuable forest sites are left as they are for conservation.

When using renewable and sustainable fresh fibres for producing tissues, we can act sustainably across the whole value chain, starting all the way from the forests and resulting in high-quality, pure and safe end products.

Forest certification systems PEFC and FSC®

Metsä Tissue promotes the use of forest certification systems, such as PEFC and FSC® that are based on independent third-party verification of sustainable forest management practices. The company’s fresh fibre suppliers are chain-of-custody certified. In 2023 more than 90 per cent of our fibres were either PEFC and FSC® certified, and also the rest came from controlled sources, which means that all our fresh fibers can be traced to legally managed forests which does not cause deforestation). The fresh wood fibres used are fully traceable to sustainable sources.

(FSC-C004147, PEFC/02-31-77)