Building a better box for Oatly

Thursday, 23 December, 2021 | Supplied by: BillerudKorsnäs

Oatly, which produces oat-based drinks, has worked with packaging company BillerudKorsnäs to increase its sustainability. With Oatly opening its first South-East Asian production facility in Singapore, it wanted a secondary packaging option that was both able to withstand the climate of the region but also to guarantee the high sustainability of its products. Thus, the two companies worked together to optimise and maximise the efficiency of Oatly’s packaging.

South-East Asia’s humid climate requires hardier packaging, so they needed to use primary, not recycled, fibres for the box. These boxes are sturdier and thus better able to withstand the heat and high humidity of the region, whereas recycled material, while more sustainable, would not be strong enough to operate as effectively. In order to compensate for this, the primary fibres are able to be sourced from responsibly managed forests in order to boost sustainability and the boxes are fully recyclable too so the material in their construction is reused subsequently.

The packaging was made more efficient too, through the cutting out of unnecessary material and optimisation of packaging design. Reducing the material in a box might usually also see a reduction in its practicality but as the primary fibres in the packaging are stronger, ultimately 35% less material was used compared to conventional offerings. Careful use of water was considered too, as paper and cardboard typically use a fair amount. With the process implemented by BillerudKorsnäs water use was reduced from 24,000 m3 a year to 10,000 m3.

“We always look to find solutions to make our production chain more sustainable, transparent and resource-efficient. Therefore it’s great that we are able to work with BillerudKorsnäs to find this solution to lower the climate impact and optimise the design of our Asian packaging,” said Jenny Belsö Trojer, Global Cat Manager Packaging Material at Oatly.

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