Elopak announced the market roll out of the Pure-Pak® eSense carton: a more environmentally friendly aseptic carton made without an aluminium layer.
Designed using technology from our fresh portfolio, as well as our traditional sustainably sourced paperboard, the Pure-Pak® eSense carton is aluminium-free and instead made with a polyolefin blend barrier. This results in up to 50 % lower carbon footprint than a standard Pure-Pak® aseptic carton and full recyclability.
With no aluminium layer, the Pure-Pak® eSense carton unlocks the potential to be fully renewable. It also simplifies the recycling process as the new polyolefin structure enables a one operation separation of the fibers and the polyolefin layers, and the polyolefin material does not contain value reducing elements. Furthermore, the carton is designed with easy folding crease lines, which help consumers to empty all the product inside before folding the carton for more convenient recycling while reducing food waste.
The Pure-Pak® eSense carton is suitable for both low and high acid food & beverage products, including milk, juice and plant-based drinks. The innovative new barrier replaces the aluminium layer while still retaining the classic rigidity of a carton.
The Pure-Pak® eSense carton is available in 500 ml, 750 ml, and 1 l sizes, with 1.5 l, 1.75 l and 2 l and US relevant sizes to be introduced at a later stage. The carton will be available with a range of compatible aseptic caps, as well as a cap-free easy-opening feature which reduces plastic consumption and lowers the carbon footprint even further.
Customers can also opt for polyethylene based on feedstocks from second generation renewable sources, or a carbon neutral version of the Pure-Pak® eSense carton, where the remaining emissions are offset through Elopak’s verified CarbonNeutral® packaging program.
Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment, has published its 2020 Sustainability Report. The successes in the report include an 11 % decrease in greenhouse gas emissions against a 2017 baseline, marking great progress towards the Science Based Target (SBT) goal of 55 % reduction. In addition, Elopak reports on increasing sales of fully renewable cartons for fresh milk in Europe, reaching 18 % in 2020, compared to 8 % in 2018, as well as the continued use of 100 % renewable energy and carbon neutrality throughout the company since 2016.
The 2020 report is the company’s first fully digital sustainability report and has been conducted in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. It covers planet, people and profit, setting out the company’s 2020 performance in the context of past progress and future ambitions; sharing case studies that identify some of the drivers behind progress, as well as identifying the remaining challenges as the company works to become Net Zero.
Speaking on the launch of the report, Elopak’s Sustainability Director Marianne Groven stated, “2020 was an exceptional year in many respects, but critically it marked the beginning of the climate decade. At Elopak we believe that now is the time to shift our focus from simply doing less harm towards doing more good. Our 2020 Sustainability Report sets out our latest performance and ambitions on this front.”
Progress in 2020 was achieved through a combination of innovation and initiatives. For example, at Elopak’s Aarhus facility in Denmark there was a switch from fossil fuel to electric energy on one of the production converters, as well as the adoption of intelligent LED lighting to reduce the power consumption of the facility’s lighting system by 78.4 %. Meanwhile, we have reduced the energy per carton by 13 % since 2017 and by 23 % since 2008.
Prior to 2020 Elopak had already achieved a reduction in the carbon footprint of an average carton with a closure, from 32 g CO2e in 2014 to 25 g CO2e in 2020. The carbon footprint of a carton without a closure is much lower at 17 g CO2e. In 2020 Elopak launched the Pure-Pak® Imagine carton, which is designed with a new easy open feature instead of a plastic screw cap. This carton contains 46 % less plastic and is fully forest based.
Elopak maintained its strong focus on people in 2020, investing in the training and education of its employees. The company recorded 5,300 course completions during the year, with 80 % employees receiving one or more trainings. Elopak also participated in wider community initiatives, in particular related to the Covid-19 pandemic, such as working with customers to provide milk to food banks in France and donating water boxes to hospitals in Spain.
Commenting on the publication of the report CEO Thomas Körmendi set out the company’s determination to push its sustainability performance further stating, “Despite the challenges of 2020 we remained focused on our vision – chosen by people, packaged by nature. Today we celebrate the progress we have made in recent years, including five years of carbon neutrality. However, with the climate decade upon us we must continue our work to advance a low carbon circular economy.”
In recognition of its commitment to advancing sustainability and working collaboratively in pursuit of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Elopak earlier this year announced it has joined the UN Global Compact as a participant.
The full report is available at: elopak.com
The volume of Elopak’s Natural Brown Board cartons surpassed one billion units in February 2021. The milestone is good news for the company’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.
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.
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 cartons 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.
Elopak, a leading global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment for liquid food, has launched the Pure-Pak® Imagine, its most environmentally friendly carton to date. The new carton is a modern version of the company’s original Pure-Pak® carton, designed with an easy open feature.
“Increasingly, we see that our Pure-Pak® carton system is the natural solution to the global need to reduce the usage of plastic bottles,” says Elopak’s Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) Patrick Verhelst.
Beverage cartons already have the lowest CO2 footprint among liquid food packaging today. Using renewable, recyclable and sustainably sourced materials, Elopak provides innovative packaging solutions that offer a natural and convenient alternative to plastic bottles and fit with a low carbon circular economy.
“With the launch of Pure-Pak® Imagine, Elopak is supporting the critical causes that represent the issues of our times – but the call to action is timeless,” Verhelst added.
Elopak’s strong focus on sustainability, alongside food safety and consumer convenience, has seen the company record a number of important environmental milestones in recent years. Carbon neutral since 2016, Elopak uses 100 per cent renewable electricity and has reduced emissions by 70 per cent over the past decade. With cartons manufactured from responsibly managed forests and FSC™ (FSC™C081801) certified material, Elopak offers customers 100 per cent renewable cartons that use wood-based renewable plastics, rather than relying on petroleum-based plastics.
“We wish to play our part in the global shift towards a low carbon circular economy and have therefore created the most environmentally friendly carton possible,” Verhelst explains.
“The Pure-Pak® Imagine carton has no plastic screw cap and is 100% forest based made with Natural Brown Board. The carton is fully renewable and carbon neutral, creating the perfect low carbon, circular economy approach,” he continues.
Many will recognize the easy-to-open feature from the 70’s and 80’s before the screw cap was first introduced. The Pure-Pak® Imagine carton’s unique top fin helps guide consumers how to open the carton. In combination with the modern functionality of the easy-pour and easy-fold features, the new carton design sets a new benchmark in reducing plastics.
The Pure-Pak® carton historically is the iconic fresh beverage pack, and with the new shape of the top fin introduced with the Pure-Pak® Imagine, Elopak adds a further important point of differentiation. Shape is the first recognition point for consumers, so this is especially important in markets less familiar with the easy opening feature. The design of the Pure-Pak® Imagine carton will create recognition on shelves across our markets and is applicable to all fresh categories.
“With Pure-Pak® Imagine we aim to help consumers make conscious environmental choices. The carton’s easy opening gives the environmentally-minded consumer a more sustainable pack, with less plastic and more natural renewable materials,” concludes Verhelst.
The collaboration between Elopak and Stora Enso has resulted in the launch of the first gable top carton made from natural brown unbleached paperboard, creating the Naturally Pure-Pak® carton with a highly distinctive, natural look and feel.
The new paperboard, Natura Life by Stora Enso, retains the natural brown colour of the wood fibres and has a visible fibre structure. This creates a naturally different, sustainable and authentic package that meets demands from growing trends in ethical, ecological and organic products. The natural look and feel of the new Pure-Pak® carton supports the values of organic products and brings outstanding presence on shelf.
This week Arla Foods in Sweden announced the launch of several products in its organic EKO brand range using Pure-Pak® cartons made of natural brown paperboard.
“We believe that the new Pure-Pak® carton will grab attention as it communicates organic values and is totally different to anything else in the increasingly complex chilled dairy segment,” says Anna-Karin Modin Edman, Sustainability Manager at Arla.
The Pure-Pak® carton with the new natural brown paperboard is available in 1 litre and 500 ml sizes. It runs on existing filling lines for both fresh and ESL products without modifications or changes in machine settings. The new Pure-Pak® cartons are 100 % recyclable and can be recycled through existing channels.
Ivar Jevne, Elopak’s Executive Vice President Board and Blanks Supply says: “All liquid packaging board sourced from well-managed forests is environmentally friendly, however this paperboard reaches new levels in climate responsible packaging. The innovation is the result of bringing together the best of expertise, competence and experience from our collaboration with Stora Enso. This is not just another paperboard for our Pure-Pak® cartons, but a totally new concept.”
The new paperboard is produced by Stora Enso, with the majority of fibres sourced from Swedish and Norwegian forests.
“We are happy about the cooperation with Elopak and excited to introduce the new unbleached liquid packaging board Natura Life by Stora Enso. What makes this paperboard unique is that it is brown on the inside as well as on the outside. This will enhance the organic appearance of carton packaging and make it stand out on the shelves,” says Annica Bresky EVP Stora Enso Consumer Board division.