A study, conducted by IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute for Iggesund Paperboard, has concluded that replacing plastic with paperboard can reduce a packaging’s climate impact by 99%.
As part of the study, the light bulbs have been packaged with paperboard through replacing plastic to reduce the climate impact of the packaging.
A carton containing 500g of pasta was also compared against the corresponding amount of pasta packed in a thin plastic bag, under the study.
The study concluded that the plastic bag has a 3.25 times larger climate impact compared to the paperboard carton.
Iggesund Paperboard sustainability director Johan Granås said: “There are tables giving carbon dioxide emissions per kilo of material, but when you compare real examples of packaging, you realise the great importance of the choice of material.
“Plastic is a fantastic material for many applications and we use it ourselves when producing paperboard for food packaging that needs a thin plastic barrier to protect its contents.”
Climate data for Iggesund’s paperboard Invercote was used for the paperboard packagings used in the study.
For the plastic materials, IVL has gathered data from the databases used for doing lifecycle analyses
Iggesund also noted that none of the paperboard packagings used in the study is made of material from the company.
Granås further added: “This is a study that shows the climate impact of different types of packaging. The mandate to IVL was to be general.
“Neither they nor we know the climate data for each individual packaging. However, based on the recognised environmental databases, this definitely indicates the great importance of the choice of material.”
Swedish government, along with the industry, established IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute to carry out research into industry’s air and water management issues.
Part of the Holmen Group, Iggesund Paperboard operates with two major paperboard brands brands Invercote and Incada.
Invercote is used for premium packaging and graphic applications, while Incada products can be used for book covers, greeting cards and packaging of food, cosmetics, chocolates, electronics and pharmaceuticals.