There is definitely a lot going on in northern Europe! Indeed, Finnish-based Sulapac is preparing a new generation of cosmetic packaging with Chanel, while Sweden’s BillerudKorsnäs is discussing with L’Oréal and other partners the industrialization of the cardboard bottle, and Helsinki-headquartered Metsä Board is preparing the future for cardboard with a new innovation centre in Äänekoski. In the meantime, the Finnish-Swedish company Stora Enso has also begun to transform.

Paperboard-based tube

At the Luxe Pack Monaco tradeshow, Stora Enso presented a renewable paperboard tube for cosmetics packaging as a climate-friendly alternative to plastic tubes.

The body of the tube is made from a barrier-coated, grease-resistant paperboard by Stora Enso, which makes it suitable for the primary packaging of skin creams. According to the company, making the body of the tube from paperboard reduces the use of plastic by 70% compared with a plastic tube.

Stora Enso is also developing biocomposite materials to replace the plastic...

Stora Enso is also developing biocomposite materials to replace the plastic cap and shoulder of the tube in the future.

We are seeing increasing demand in the cosmetics field for new innovative solutions made of renewable materials. This tube is a good example of how, together with our customers and their suppliers, we are driving innovations to create the packaging of the future. The paperboard tube will offer cosmetics brands who want to appeal to eco-conscious consumers a competitive new alternative,” says Henna Paakkonen-Alvim, Vice President, Innovation, Stora Enso Consumer Board division.

For manufacturing of the tubes, Stora Enso cooperates with Aisa, a world-leading tube machinery manufacturer. The industrial runnability of the board has been tested on Aisa’s machinery to ensure flawless and efficient converting performance.

Biocomposite materials

To go further, Stora Enso is also developing biocomposite materials to replace the plastic cap and shoulder of the tube in the future.

Last year, Stora Enso launched DuraSense, a blend of wood fibres (up to 50%) and polymers (usually polypropylene), which can be fossil, bio-based or recycled, depending on the brands’ requirements, in order to offer an alternative to oil-based plastics. Indeed, thanks to the wood fibres they contain, DuraSense biocomposites allow to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of packaging materials. For instance, with a blend of wood fibres and bio-based polymers, it is possible to get up to 98% renewable content.

In addition, the wood used for DuraSense comes from sustainably managed Nordic forests.

Texture agents

Stora Enso has also developed a process for using microfibrillated cellulose (MFC), which is added to the pulp to lighten and strengthen paperboard, as a texture agent in cosmetic formulations.

According to Stora Enso, MFC is a 100% biodegradable natural multifunctional ingredient that can act as a rheology modifier, emulsion stabiliser, moisturiser and sensorial agent while contributing to a more sustainable world.

Stora Enso presented this new ingredient at Cosmetic 360 in Paris last month, where it was selected as a finalist for the Cosmetic 360 Awards.

"Our business is no longer limited to paperboard, we are developing new segments based on wood cellulose. We will soon introduce new moulded fibre applications. Much of what used to be done from fossil resources will soon be made from wood fibre," explains Hervé Vue, Sales Manager France at StoraEnso.