How do I get the perfect food package – without the environmental cost

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Published 13 July 2021 - Eco-friendly packaging - Plastic replacement
Everyone wants to do the right thing for the environment and the brand owners that we work with at Stora Enso are no different.

When I speak to customers and potential customers, there is a strong desire to move away from plastic packaging due to the environmental problems related with it. In fact, there is legislation in place in many countries and more on the way, that will limit the use of plastic, so it’s critical that we can help find renewable alternatives.

And the alternatives are there. But they are not always in use.

Every time I go into a supermarket, I usually spend a very long time looking at the chilled foods section in particular. I know. I’m not a regular customer. The staff are probably wondering what I’m doing when I inspect the packaging in such detail. What I find fascinating is that almost every package in the chilled food section is from plastic. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Basically, every package there could be replaced with plastic-coated board at the very least. Some products are easy to replace, and some are harder, but we can certainly cut down the amount of plastic significantly in every package on the market today.

Why aren’t we? Well, brand owners still have to make sure that whatever replaces plastic is just as good, if not better than what they have today. A package has to:

  • Protect the product
  • Build brand loyalty
  • Stick out from its competitors on the shelf

And the material needs to be:

  • Flexible
  • Adaptable
  • Sustainable

At Stora Enso, we’ve been working with Trayforma for over 20 years now and developing the product to meet the needs of our customers; brand owners. One of the recent developments is Trayforma PP.

We think it ticks all the boxes above. Trayforma is the food-grade paperboard material for ready-meal trays that has been on the market the longest. It has a great track record when it comes to technical performance. It’s safe for direct food contact and uses a thin barrier coating to protect against light, oxygen, humidity and grease.

It comes from renewable, sustainable forests so it has clear environmental benefits over plastic and there is quite a bit of mounting evidence pointing to that fact.

It also ticks the boxes for branding purposes. The material is highly formable giving brand owners the opportunity to create a package to suit their needs. I mean, the paperboard packages really stick out when I’m staring at that chilled food section in the supermarket. Partly, they stick out because everything else is plastic but it’s also because it is easy to print on Trayforma. This lets brands stick out from the crowd and make full use of their packaging to create the desired look and feel.

Trayforma is an excellent food packaging alternative. It’s in commercial use and available today. If you’re thinking about making the shift, get in touch and we can find a suitable roadmap so that you can do it in the best way possible.

Author

Jaana Keskitalo

Jaana Keskitalo

Jaana has been working for Stora Enso since 1989 in various positions in sales, product development and product management. Even with different job descriptions, barrier coatings have been an important role throughout the career. Since 2015 Jaana has worked as Product Manager in Consumer Board and the current responsibility area is Trayforma, Cupforma for packaging cups and Barriers.

Calculator

Food packaging

Test the Impact calculator

If you want to see how big the impact could be, you can do a quick assessment with Trayforma environmental impact calculator.

The calculator is based on the LCA study and it’s an easy way to get an idea of what you can achieve with the replacing plastic with Trayforma.

Test the impact here
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