Better Planet Packaging

Smurfit Kappa

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

Better planet packaging is a Smurfit Kappa initiative which main purpose is to reduce packaging waste by creating more sustainable ones. It is not a war against plastic; it is an initiative to create a conscience about waste. For example, when you receive an USB from an e commerce company and it is packed in a massive box filled with 2 meters of rolled paper, all of the elements are recyclable but an unnecessary waste at the end, which is what BBP is trying to eliminate.

It is not an easy task to substitute or eliminate non-recyclable materials (foams, plastics, metals) that have been doing a great job protecting products through its transportation but massive damage to our oceans. Smurfit kappa has development centers where new paper based recycled materials are tested as well as new solutions and not only that all of the designers are constantly trained and BBP projects are part of their yearly performance evaluation.

Smurfit Kappa has an internal webpage where all the designs around the world are uploaded so one BBP solution made in Mexico can be downloaded, adjusted and used in Italy.

Authors

Rigoberto Rios

Rigoberto Rios

JUAN JOSE ULLOA MEJIA

JUAN JOSE ULLOA MEJIA

Natalia Eloisa Ramos Lopez

Natalia Eloisa Ramos Lopez

Eduardo Marquez

Eduardo Marquez

Brenda Salinas

Brenda Salinas

School

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

EGADE Business School Tecnologico de Monterrey

Professors

Consuelo Garcia-de-la-torre

Consuelo Garcia-de-la-torre

Francisco Layrisse

Francisco Layrisse

Innovation

It is not an easy task to substitute or eliminate non-recyclable materials (foams, plastics, metals) that have been doing a great job protecting products through its transportation but massive damage to our oceans. Smurfit kappa has development centers where new paper based recycled materials are tested as well as new solutions and not only that all of the designers are constantly trained and BBP projects are part of their yearly performance evaluation.

Smurfit Kappa has an internal webpage where all the designs around the world are uploaded so one BBP solution made in Mexico can be downloaded, adjusted and used in Italy.

Better Planet Packaging

Inspiration

The data that inspired Smurfit Kappa to act:


Year 2015 (when the initiative was born) (Ritchie, 2018)

  • Global plastic production: 381 million tons
  • Cumulative global plastic production up to 2015: 7 billion tons
  • 19.5% was recycled and 25.5% incinerated. 55% was discarded
  • Packaging plastic waste: 146 million tons (38% of the total production)

Smurfit kappa as a paper-based packaging production company needed to do something because its raw material has many sustainable benefits:

Paper-based packaging is one of the most sustainable materials available: it’s recyclable, renewable and has consistently had the highest recycling rate in recent years and, even if it does end up as litter, is still biodegradable

  • Paper is consistently the world’s most collected and recyclable material
  • Paper protects more resources than it uses
  • Paper packaging supports healthy forests

Overall impact

Smurfit kappa based its production in the ideal packaging which has a low impact on climate change, prevents food waste, is recyclable, is lightweight, saves transport, requires limited water and energy to produce it, uses renewable raw materials and does not become litter

Through its expertise with paper-based packaging, supply chain knowledge and customer insights, Smurfit Kappa improves the functionality of paper to create innovative, sustainable packaging alternatives and incorporates more recycling into products from the design stage.

Business benefit

Many companies around the globe have sustainable goals in their agendas and Smurfit kappa is the perfect ally because it has been working for years documenting every single design and sharing this knowledge to all the crew around the world.

Some examples are:

Replacement of plastic trays for bakery industries: in 2019 Smurfit kappa substituted plastic trays for cardboard ones, cutting the production of 950,000 plastic trays per year doing so they gained 1.15 million square meter (about the total floor space of the Pentagon) of production volume.

Replacement of EPS and plastic bags in washing machine clear view packaging: not only the plastic elements were substituted but also the part numbers were standardized they passed from 24 different elements to only 16.

These are only two examples that helped a lot the Monterrey plant economically but like these there are many projects around the world helping to eliminate plastic waste and substituting it with the most sustainable materials available. Some examples:

  • Solid fiber substitution for shrink films used in bottle packaging.
  • Substitution of EPS cooler with honeycomb.
  • Honeycomb pallets.
  • Agro paper replaces plastic used for mulching

Social and environmental benefit

Las operaciones de Smurfit Kappa están diseñadas en torno a un modelo de economía circular: un sistema verdaderamente de circuito cerrado en el que se maximiza la productividad de los recursos que utilizan y se minimizan los residuos, incluidas las emisiones de CO2, generados a través de sus productos.

SK participa en todas las etapas de la cadena de suministro. Creen que un modelo integrado desde las fuentes de fibra hasta los productos finales es la forma más eficiente de proporcionar envases innovadores, soluciones logísticas y un servicio de alta calidad a los clientes. Toda la fibra producida y comprada cumple con la Cadena de Custodia según FSC®, PEFCT M o SFI®.

La iniciativa de empaquetado Better Planet se enfoca en eliminar los marciales no reciclables de los empaques y sustituirlos por los basados ​​en papel que tienen estos beneficios ambientales:

  • Reciclable, compostable y biodegradable.
  • Bajo impacto en el cambio climático.
  • Ligero.
  • Requiere agua y energía limitadas.
  • Materia prima renovable
  • No se convierte en basura.
  • Smurfit kappa tiene sus propias fábricas donde los residuos se transforman en materias primas (papel) para fabricar productos de embalaje.


Interview

Jeroen Dankbaar, Mr

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Smurfit Kappa

Smurfit Kappa

Monterrey, Nuevo León, MX

Business Website: https://www.smurfitkappa.com/

Year Founded: 2005

Number of Employees: 10000+

Smurfit Kappa is a global company dedicated to the production of paper-based packaging; it has 34 mills around the world where paper is recycled to use it as raw material for packaging solutions in its 34 production plants around the world.

Smurfit kappa owns 67,000 hectares of forest plantation which are certified as Chain of custody by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC™) and the Sustainable Forest Initiative (SFI™), that means that every single tree that is cut is replaced, not only that it also certified that up to this day 85% of the material used to produce packaging solutions is recycled.