A worthwhile challenge
Urbanization changes the lifestyle and consumption patterns of people. All over the world, communities are growing larger due to urbanization, and with that more people than ever buy their food and drink right off the shelves. The majority of those groceries come wrapped in plastic packaging.
Now, imagine if that packaging was not in plastics but was made out of a more natural and sustainable material.
We did, and we came up with a vision of a bottle made out of paper. A paper bottle that can hold carbonated beverages. With minimal use of plastic, so minimal plastic waste. A truly sustainable product. That’s a worthwhile challenge indeed.
Let’s face it. Plastic is an inexpensive material available almost everywhere, which makes it a common and popular choice for manufacturers. But a great part of the production volume is for single use items. In 2014, the global production of plastic packaging was 78 million tonnes. Of this, 30.4 million tonnes consisted of different kinds of bottles.
Only 2 percent of the plastic packages were recycled into new packages.
40 percent was used for land fill.
32 percent was leaked into the oceans and the land. Plastics are the most common type of waste that pollutes the oceans, accounting for 60-90 percent of the total debris.
Plastic material has a very long lifespan. In combination with the extensive use and inadequate recycling of plastic, this can cause far-reaching, negative consequences for the environment, both locally and globally.
What can we do?The current situation poses major challenges for our society in the future. According to a rough estimation there is somewhere between 100-200 million tonnes of plastic litter in the oceans. If nothing changes, the ocean is expected to contain 1 tonne of plastic for every 3 tonnes of fish by 2025, and by 2050, there will be more plastics than fish.
So how do we reduce the use of plastic packaging? Preferably by presenting better alternatives. At BillerudKorsnäs we believe that fibre based packaging is a way to go. We’ve already invented numerous packaging solutions that helped minimize food waste and keep groceries fresh. If we can dream it – we can make it.
We imagined a fiber-based product that can hold carbonated beverages and we have decided to take on the challenge of making a paper bottle. And since our packaging material is made from sustainable wood fibres. We know it will be a sustainable solution.
(UNEP. 2005. Marine litter, an analytical overview).
(Ellen MacArthur foundation, 2016, The new plastics economy).
(Wilson, S. 2010 The fallacy of gyre cleanup)