The company is already predicting that ForMi, a cellulose reinforced fibre plastic composite material, will soon replace particleboard as the main raw material used in Finnish kitchen frames.

Finnish kitchen manufacturer Puustelli Group has developed, with UPM, ForMi kitchen frame components that reduce the manufacturing carbon footprint by 35-45%.

"This is an important first step for UPM ForMi in the furniture industry," said Stefan Fors, UPM’s director of biocomposites.

"Naturally, we hope that the construction industry will follow Puustelli’s example and adopt the environmentally-friendly material more extensively, not just in Finland but globally," he said.

Mr Fors said different kinds of profiles could be produced for the construction sector, though he thought it would compete more with particleboard than solid wood products.

ForMi sheets with a 3mm thickness could replace 12mm particleboard, he added. He said promotion of ForMi into different markets would not cut across UPM’s existing solid wood and plywood businesses. Particleboard is the wood product most likely to face competition from ForMi, he added.