Senior Insights Consultant, Sustainability, at Euro- monitor International. The survey also indicated that around a third of consumers preferred packaging made from re- newable materials. Consumers also want to know what will happen to the package at the end of its life-cycle. “Properties such as recyclability and biodegra- dability resonated best with the respondents,” says Zuniga. Measured benefits At Metsä Board’s Excellence Centre in Äänekoski, Structural Packaging Designer Iiro Numminen plac- es a paperboard biscuit box on the table. It was de- signed by Numminen and his team to demonstrate to the customer the kinds of paperboard solutions that can be made to replace plastic. “When customers contact us, they often want to develop their existing packaging solutions, and this development is often related to supporting the cir- cular economy,” says Numminen. The initial contact sets off a process during which Numminen and his team formulate the most accu- rate possible image of the product and its require- ments. They pay attention to the material and struc- ture, how the product functions on packaging lines and in logistics chains, how it opens, how it stands out on the shelf – and how it’s recycled. Lighter than the original package, the new solu- tion is made entirely from MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB paperboard. “Metsä Board’s paperboards are lightweight and strong, and thanks to this, the same amount of ma- terial yields more packages. We measure the differ- ences and demonstrate them to the customer. When production volumes are large, percentages matter,” Numminen says. From plastic to paperboard? How many plastic packages could be replaced with paperboard? According to Rehtijärvi, there is no sim- ple answer to the question because packaging solu- tions are always product-specific, and it makes no sense to contrast paperboard and plastic.
“In some cases, plastic may be nec- essary for product quality and dura- bility. However, we can reduce the amount of plastic used,” she says.
Jorge Zuniga Senior Insights Consultant, Sustainability, Euromonitor International
Iiro Numminen Structural Packaging Designer, Metsä Board
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