Interpack live: Blue Ocean Closures and Stora Enso launch “first ever” paperboard tube with fiber closure
10 May 2023 --- Blue Ocean Closures, Stora Enso and Aisa have developed the “first ever” paperboard tube with a fiber-based closure consisting of more than 85% fibers. The achievement was officially launched at the ongoing Interpack trade show in Düsseldorf, Germany.
The new wood fiber-based concept is said to support brand owners to increase the share of renewable material in their packaging. All components of the tube are designed for recycling. The paper tube is expected to be commercially available in 2024, intended for use in cosmetics, personal or home care.
“The paperboard tube is an interesting application for many end-uses, for example, in cosmetics and personal care. It would be an even more sustainable and attractive solution if the closure was fiber-based and not made of plastic. The ability to recycle the whole package after use is also an important goal,” Mandi Alaterä, senior vice president of communications and marketing at Stora Enso Packaging Materials, tells PackagingInsights on the trade show floor.
“The collaboration with Blue Ocean Closures and Aisa is a great example of a collaboration that helps us accelerate innovation and development and look into new technologies together with partners.”
Collaboration for fiber closures
The fiber-based screw cap developed by Blue Ocean Closures is combined with a tube composed of Stora Enso’s barrier-coated board material Natura Shape and assembled by Aisa. Eighty-five percent fiber content is the highest proportion available in a tube design currently on the market, asserts Blue Ocean Closures.
When asked about technical challenges for making fiber tube closures, Alaterä tells us that traditionally, the closure was made of plastic as this works well and has been available. “Now changing the material to fiber-based requires a wide collaboration and testing with material producers and the tube-making machines.”
“For the closures, it is important to reach the right rigidity and stability of the closure, but also the easy-to-use feature for opening and closing, good usability,” explains Alaterä.
To help brand owners achieve their sustainability targets without compromising on functionalities and shelf presence, increased collaboration is required across the value chain, explains Blue Ocean Closures. The technology development of the screw cap for the tube is accelerated through a design project part-funded by BioInnovation and also involves Karlstad University, Sweden.
Interpack plastic replacement trends
Alaterä tells us that Interpack exhibitors are presenting many new solutions to replace plastic, in rigid and flexible applications. “For example smaller retail containers for fruits and vegetables are showcased in different techniques. Also, increased circularity of solutions is a strong focus area in all material categories, so things like simple structures and monomaterial solutions were presented.”
“Stora Enso’s fiber-based packaging solutions for food and non-food applications are all designed for recycling and based on sustainably sourced, renewable raw materials. For example, our recently introduced Trayforma BarrPeel has been developed to replace plastic packages in vacuumed skin packages for food such as meat, fish, cheese and cold cut end uses,” continues Alaterä.
“We also develop new types of barriers to enable carton in more and more end uses. For example, Tambrite Aqua+ is a new circular packaging material for frozen and chilled food packaging that reduces the need for fossil-based plastics and improves recyclability after use,” she concludes.
By Natalie Schwertheim
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