Elopak Presents “The Natural Solution” at Plastic Free World Virtual Summit 2020

Elopak’s Chief Marketing Officer Patrick Verhelst this week addressed the Plastic Free World Virtual Summit 2020. Speaking on a low-carbon, circular economy approach to packaging, his presentation was entitled ‘The Natural Solution’ and took place at 11:10 on Monday 9th November.

Drawing on examples from Elopak and its customers, Verhelst examined the growing consumer demand for more sustainable packaging.

“Our customers find that consumers are making more and more sustainable choices and want packaging options which reflect these ethics,” Verhelst stated.

“Arla foods, for example, noted that 85-95% of consumers were buying plant-based drinks alongside traditional dairy products. When it came time to launch their own JÖRD brand of plant-based drinks, they wanted a carton which reflected the environmental priorities of their consumers. By choosing the Pure-Pak® Sense with Natural Brown Board they were able to deliver on these priorities and signal their commitment to sustainability with a rustic, natural looking carton,” he continued.

Verhelst set out why paperboard cartons offer an ideal solution to the need to promote a low-carbon circular economy within the packaging industry and the advantages of the company’s iconic Pure-Pak® cartons in terms of renewable materials, low CO2 emissions and being fully recyclable.

“Pure-Pak® cartons offer a low carbon, circular economy approach to packaging, which helps our customers achieve significant reductions in their own carbon footprints. We do this in four key ways. Firstly, by using less plastic. We are consistently cutting down on the amount of plastic our cartons contain. For example, our newly released Pure-Pak® Imagine carton has no plastic screw cap, meaning it uses 46% less plastic than a conventional carton, and ten times less plastic than a PET bottle. Secondly, by sourcing good wood. Our cartons are made using paper fibres sourced from responsibly managed Nordic forests. We also offer cartons made using forest-based plastics meaning they are 100% renewable and entirely based on wood. Thirdly, cartons are a naturally low-carbon packaging solution. Studies have shown them to be responsible for significantly less carbon emissions than PET and glass bottles… Finally, our cartons are a natural fit within the principles of the circular economy. They use renewable raw materials and are fully recyclable, meaning that waste is minimised, and materials stay in the production loop for a longer time,” Verhelst explained.

Verhelst’s address included examples of companies who are making the move to more sustainable packaging.

“Every day more and more companies are waking up to the natural solution of low-carbon, circular economy packaging. In Spring of this year Swedish dairy Skånemejerier decided to remove the caps on all their one litre cartons of Hjordära organic milk and let their consumers’ reactions determine whether to make the change a permanent one. After launching their product in new Pure-Pak® cartons with an easy-open feature, 79% of consumers who contacted the dairy expressed a clear preference for packaging without the plastic closure,” he stated.

“As we imagine a new and ambitious plastic free world, there are numerous points at which we can reduce the amount of plastic we use in our lives,” Verhelst noted.

“One obvious example is single-use plastic bottles, which hold a seeming monopoly over convenient portable water packaging.”

Verhelst explained how Elopak teamed up with Boxed Water Is Better in the US to provide a more sustainable solution to quench consumer’s thirst.

“By replacing plastic bottles with small, 500ml cartons consumers can reduce their carbon footprint by 64%; using 43% less fossil fuels and taking an enormous strain off our ozone layer,” he explained.

Verhelst concluded by setting out the company’s commitment to developing even more sustainable solutions, noting Elopak’s increased R&D spending and the high value it places on innovation.

“By supporting an economic model built on minimising waste and conserving the earth’s natural resources our cartons make it easier for consumers to make conscious choices without sacrificing on convenience. Elopak’s Pure-Pak® carton system is the natural solution to the global need to reduce the use of plastic bottles. They can serve as an integral part of promoting this new circular economy and the low carbon future we all know is possible.”