Plastic is easiest to replace in online shopping, where the transparency of product packaging is not crucial to the purchase decision, as well as in product groups, whose packaging does not need to be rinsed before it is recycled. Paperboard is also increasingly used to package greasy and moist products like doughnuts. Metsä Board’s PE-coated and dispersion coated paperboards are good options for packaging material. “In PE-coated products, the inside of the paper- board package is lined with a thin plastic coating. The product offers good protection, with a smaller environmental impact than plastic packaging. Our dispersion coated paperboards offer medium-strong protection against moisture and grease. Packages made from our dispersion coated paperboard can be recycled with paperboard waste, making recycling easy and cost-effective,” says Uusitalo. For customers, it is important that changes made to the material do not lead to problems in the pack- aging production process. As experts, Numminen and his team also ensure that the new solution works in all devices. “Making changes to the packaging line is a big pro- cess and requires very good arguments. However, if the packaging contains an element such as a plastic window, removing it may actually make production technically easier,” says Numminen. He says the best result is achieved by involving packaging design early in the production develop- ment stage. “A change of just a few millimetres in package size can considerably improve the logistical properties of packaging or reduce loss.” •
*) A growing plastic slick, now estimated to be over 170 trillion plastic particles afloat in the world’s oceans – Urgent solutions required: Eriksen, Cowger et al., 2023
**) Recyclability of Cartonboard and Cartons, Rene Eckhart, 2021
MetsäBoard Prime FBB EB is made from fully traceable and pure fresh fibre with no fluorochemicals or optical brighteners (OBAs), making it safe for direct food contact applications.
***) New in-store life-cycle analysis highlights the environmental benefits of single-use paper-based packaging, European Paper Packaging Alliance
Anne Uusitalo Product Safety and Sustainability Director, Metsä Board
Anu Rehtijärvi Market Intelligence Manager, Metsä Board
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