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Environment

Study calls out unnecessary plastic packaging

Switching material from plastic to paperboard can reduce a packaging’s climate impact by 99%, a new study by IVL Swedish Environment Research Institute for Iggesund Paperboard has found.

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Johan Granas, sustainability director at Iggesund Paperboard

The sustainability-forward paperboard company is part of the Swedish forest industry group, one of the world’s 100 most sustainable companies listed on the United Nations Global Compact Index.

The company is serious about reducing its carbon footprint on the earth and has invested more than €380m to increase its energy efficiency and reduce fossil emissions from its production.

Using the findings, Iggesund Paperboard is calling for product managers and designers to make educated choices when deciding which packaging to use for their companies - switching from plastic to paperboard wherever possible.

There are masses of types of packaging that cannot be made in anything other than plastic today. But there is also packaging that is made of plastic where it is easy to switch material without losing function at all – and it is logical to start there if we want to reduce packaging’s climate impact

Plastic is commonly used for food packaging due to the necessity to keep produce fresh. However, the study by IVL found that some packaged items such as lightbulbs in plastic, is one of the most extreme ways companies are using plastic unnecessarily.

Commenting on the use of plastic as a necessity in some cases, sustainability director at Iggesund Paperboard, Johan Granas says: “Plastic is a fantastic material for many applications and we use it ourselves when producing paperboard for food packaging that needs a thin plastic barrier to protect its contents. But we believe that decision makers in the packaging industry must know about the effects of their choice of material.

“There are masses of types of packaging that cannot be made in anything other than plastic today. But there is also packaging that is made of plastic where it is easy to switch material without losing function at all – and it is logical to start there if we want to reduce packaging’s climate impact.”

If you have any news, please email carys@linkpublishing.co.uk, or join in with the conversation on Twitter.


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