Cartonboard lightweighting directly linked to carbon footprint cut - company

By Rory Harrington

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Carbon footprint, Weight, Life cycle assessment

A packaging manufacturer said new research has shown there is a direct correlation between the lightweighting of cartonboard and a reduction in its carbon footprint.

The study, commissioned by M-real Consumer Packaging, found that within the same grade of the packaging, its carbon footprint reduces in “at least in proportion to its base weight”.

The Finland-based company said a weight reduction in the cartonboard of 15 per cent equates to an 18 per cent cut in its carbon footprint. The company said the data is significant for users concerned with sustainability issues.

“If they can specify a lighter weight board, provided all criteria regarding stiffness and performance are met, their own carbon footprint will diminish accordingly,”​ added M-real.

Life cycle analysis

The firm said the study was carried out by an external research institute in Finland - although it declined to name the group - with the aim of producing life cycle analysis three different weights of board.

Carbon footprints were calculated for 10,000 biscuit cartons produced in 250, 270 and 295 g/m2 weights, to discover if the footprint would reduce proportionately when a lighter weight board was used. Calculations assessed energy used in forestry, transport and manufacturing at all stages from harvesting the wood to making the cartons, including transporting the board to the customer.

M-real said that making 100,000 biscuit cartons using a 25 g/m2 lighter board, the CO2 saving per annum equals driving 1,000 km by car.

“By making packaging more effective and less wasteful, sustainability goes hand in hand with cost savings, which can be achieved both by the choice of light weighted materials and by a design that has the right impact,”​ said Riikka Joukio, company vice president of marketing.

Related topics: Processing & Packaging

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