Sustainable way of thinking and the creation of environmentally friendly solutions are values shared by both Estiko and La Muu. Hence, the companies have been working closely together for over two years to find suitable packaging options that would be convenient for customers to use as well as serve interest of society at large. “As a food manufacturer, packaging is an important part of our environmental footprint. Although we have used organic raw material from the beginning of our production, i.e. clean food grown without artificial fertilizers and pesticides, the packaging had always been a pain in the neck for us. Our mission was to find packaging that would be able to go back into circulation,” said Rasmus Rask, CEO of La Muu.
Although previously La Muu used paper laminate for more sustainable packaging of ice-cream cones, they soon realised that unfortunately it does not give the desired effect. “If you compare the amount of water or energy used to produce a single packaging, for example, plastic packaging clearly has the smallest footprint,” explained Tõnis Paara, R&D Specialist at Estiko. “In addition, intelligently designed flexible packaging is much easier to recycle than the paper-plastic composite that almost all hermetically sealed paper-like packaging currently is. La Muu quickly understood this and together, we started searching for a better solution. Today, we have reached an innovative packaging with a material footprint close to zero. Being made of monomaterials, this creates a way to recycle the packaging over and over again. What is more, our unique ISCC certificate also provided a favourable opportunity to take a step further by using already recycled materials to a significant extent in their new packaging,” said Paara.
Today, La Muu’s new sustainable packaging protects the well-being of four different ice-cream cones – vanilla, caramel-sea salt, condensed milk, and raspberry. The company’s plan is to package all its impulse ice-creams in recyclable plastic over time. “We see this as a solution which will actually reduce the need to produce new plastic. This is a crucial step in achieving climate neutrality goals,” explained Rask.
The principle of ISCC system works in an analogous way to buying green energy from electricity grid. The customer can determine how much renewable resources should be used in the packaging. The certification system then observes the amount of renewable materials purchased and sold by packaging manufacturers, keeping them in balance. The tracking system works throughout the entire process which makes the movement of material transparent and traceable throughout the entire supply chain.
The biggest advantage of the new, chemically processed material is that there is no influence on the film quality and packaging line behaviour. The packaging still holds a strong visual impact, is odourless and, most importantly, food contact approved and safe. What is more – by using this material, we contribute to the collection of packaging waste. The greater the demand for material recycled this way, the greater the demand for the collection and sorting of packaging waste. Thanks to this, plastic waste will also finally have an application and a value – the world’s largest plastic producers are already today interested in sorted plastic waste to meet the growing demand.
*following the principle of mass balance