Elopak records one billion natural brown board cartons

Image courtesy of Elopak

The volume of Elopak’s Natural Brown Board cartons will surpass one billion units in February 2021, the company reports. The milestone is good news for Elopak’s sustainability efforts, as the lower CO2 footprint of these cartons means an estimated 3,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions have been avoided as a result. The reduction in CO2 emissions resulting from the use of Natural Brown Board is equivalent to approximately 1,400 round trip flights for one person London – New York.  

The news comes after Elopak recorded a significant increase in its sale of Natural Brown Board cartons in 2019, with brands responding to increased consumer interest in the environmental credentials of their products by making the transition to sustainable packaging solutions. Today approximately 20% of the Pure-Pak milk cartons Elopak sells in Western Europe are produced with Natural Brown Board.  

Speaking on the news, Elopak’s director, Sustainability Marianne Groven, stated: “Beverage cartons already have strong environmental credentials when compared with alternatives such as plastic bottles. It is encouraging to see that our customers are embracing innovations that offer a more sustainable solution, such as the Natural Brown Board. Together we can aim even higher and help consumers make conscious choices.”  

Launched in 2017, in partnership with supplier Stora Enso, Elopak was the first packaging company to provide gable top cartons made with Natural Brown Board. These Pure-Pak cartons are renewable and recyclable. They have a lower CO2 footprint owing to reduced wood consumption and the elimination of the bleaching process. Their rustic, natural look effectively communicates this commitment to sustainability and instantly stands out on the shelves, the company says.

“This is an exciting milestone for us as Elopak was the first company to offer gable top cartons made with Natural Brown Board. We were also the first in our industry to announce that we are a carbon neutral company offering carbon neutral cartons, and the first to offer fully renewable cartons made entirely from wood,” Elopak’s chief marketing officer (CMO) Patrick Verhelst stated. 

He continued: “Our customers are very responsive to consumers’ desire to reduce their environmental impact. A lot of them offer organic, green or otherwise sustainable products and they want a packaging solution that reflects this ethos and instantly signals their commitment to the environment. With its unbleached, natural look the Pure-Pak cartons with Natural Brown Board effectively communicates that inherent sustainability at first glance.” 

Several customers were quick to embrace the Natural Brown Board, with Arla being the first major brand to adopt the innovation for its line of organic EKO products in Sweden. In June 2018, when Arla launched its Arla Organic range of milk and drinking yoghurts, the brand opted again for one litre Pure-Pak cartons with Natural Brown Board, which were rolled out across the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Finland. 

Some customers have taken the concept further and removed the renewable plastic cap. Norwegian dairy, TINE, transitioned from a white carton with a cap to a Natural Brown Board carton without a cap, resulting in a carbon footprint reduction of around 40%. Sweden’s second-largest dairy Skånemejerier has also removed the caps on all their Hjordnära organic milk one-liter cartons, launching its organic milk in new Pure-Pak® cartons with an easy opening funnel feature to replace the plastic closure.  

Since its launch, Elopak’s Natural Brown Board has served as a platform for further sustainability-focused innovations, including the Pure-Pak Imagine launched in 2020. The carton is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak carton, containing 46% less plastic and designed with a new easy open feature. It has no plastic screw cap and is 100% forest-based made with Natural Brown Board, making it Elopak’s most environmentally friendly carton to date. 

For more information, visit: www.elopak.com/naturally-pure-pak.  

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