LCA comparing fresh produce packages made from fiber-based corrugated containerboard to packages made from rPET shows that fiber-based packaging has a 79% lower climate impact, with environmental benefits in 11 out of 13 environmental impact categories

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May 9, 2023 (press release) –

Fiber-based containerboard is an excellent material for designing dependable, renewable, and fully circular berry packaging. Corrugated containerboard packaging is fit for not just berry trays, but for individually packaged portions where plastic punnets are commonly used. On top of this, the packaging can be easily designed to showcase the visual appeal of berries without needing a fully see-through concept. 

To help berry packagers and retailers understand key differences in the sustainability performance of consumer berry packaging, we recently conducted a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) comparing packages made from fresh fiber-based corrugated containerboard to packages made from recycled PET.

Fiber-based or PET: assessing the impact

The packages studied featured a 500g capacity and rigid lid containing strawberries, tomatoes, or similar produce transported within Germany. The corrugated package is the EcoFresh box by Stora Enso with a lid, produced from AvantForte Brown kraftliner and AvantForte SC+ fluting. The plastic alternative is a comparable package made of recycled PET.

The findings revealed: 

Overall, when a corrugated punnet is compared with a recycled PET punnet, the corrugated system shows environmental benefits in 11 out of 13 environmental impact categories, and the climate change benefits were consistent throughout the sensitivity analysis.

How to choose the right fiber-based product? Talk to us.

Retailers and brand owners of fresh produce demand packaging that holds up to the rigors of transportation, meets their sustainability requirements, and looks good on the shelf or floor. Retailers can take advantage of corrugated containerboard’s low climate impact and ability to protect produce while offering appealing visual features, as with AvantForte WhiteTop by Stora Enso – a three-layer, OBA-free, 100% virgin fiber kraftliner that combines printability with toughness.

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