Metsä Board Magazine – Winter 2023


Art of packaging

Read more about rigid boxes

The magic of micro-flute Imagine getting a tasty treat like honey as a present – complete with a lavish box! Diving more deeply into that whole unboxing experience, one soon notices that not all packages are created equal.

Sami Anteroinen, photos: Sami Piskonen and Metsä Board

M etsä Board has been working hard to take quality packaging to the next lev- el – and always with a dedicatedly sus- tainable twist. The result: a lighter gift package that has strength features close to those of the rigid box solutions currently in use. Metsä Board’s Packaging Services Director Ilkka Harju explains that the “rigid box” is a staple of the packaging industry, with mostly Asian manufacturers behind it. As rigid boxes are thicker than regular folding cartons, and do not fold or collapse, customers around the world have come to appreciate the format – but what could the alternative be like? “We wanted to offer locally produced, more sustainable, high-quality packaging to the mar- ket, focusing on premium products such as cos- metics,” Harju lays down the original objective. Targeting performance The creative team at Metsä Board’s Excellence Centre in Äänekoski in Finland already started to thinking and tinkering to solve this challenge some years ago, Harju says. “We were looking to provide the same experi- ence by coming up with a box that was strong and

rigid but to make it lighter and with a smaller en- vironmental impact,” he explains. The eureka ! factor turned out to be micro-flute, which is a significantly low fluting in corrugat- ed boards. Here’s the breakdown: the packaging consists of a separate base and lid made of mi- cro-flute. Its surface liner can be uncoated white kraftliner or coated white kraftliner. Of these two, the coated white kraftliner gives the package the best printing properties. Good fit for production lines What’s more, the packaging solution is designed to be production-efficient from start to finish and suitable for mass production on current produc- tion lines – with no major retooling required. Ac- cording to Harju, the new gift packaging solution is a great fit, especially for cosmetics, chocolate, beverages and other premium products. “Cosmetics are probably the number one ap- plication area, but the material can be custom- ised very easily to create unique packaging solu- tions,” he says. The sustainability angle is also a very potent one here. As the Metsä Board’s Sustainability Services team set out to compare the new micro-flute solu-

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