Author: Lena Barner-Rasmussen
Fibre-based Walki®Lid helps consumers enjoy their snacks with zero aluminium. For global dairy giant Arla, it also provides a way to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of its packaging.
With the demand for sustainable solutions increasing, companies are searching for innovative solutions to make their packaging more recyclable and sustainable. For dairy and dry foods, this means finding an alternative for lids traditionally made of aluminium.
Walki®Lid, Walki’s paper-based material for single-cup lids, hits the nail on the head – or the lid on the cup – for Arla’s dairy products. In Finland, Arla uses the material for its 175g Arla Luonto+ yogurts, and in Sweden for cottage cheese and crème fraiche as well. The entire packaging can be recycled by pulping or burned for energy production.
According to Kati Janhunen, Brand & Category Manager at Arla, the aim is to make Arla Luonto+ the healthiest, tastiest and most socially responsible yogurt brand in Finland.
“We’re a very consumer-oriented company and we listen to consumers extremely carefully,” she explains. “The consumers that choose Arla Luonto+ deem sustainability very important.”
Janhunen says that Arla is always looking for ways to enable more and more sustainable consumer choices through continuous R&D with sustainability at its core.
“As the packaging industry is constantly evolving, it’s our responsibility to offer consumers the best possible solution.”
The lids are manufactured by Pyroll, a paper, converting and packaging company from Finland, using material provided by Walki. Sales Director Marko Manu says that the lid is a bit of a packaging superstar: it has an excellent aroma, water vapour and gas barrier, is easy to peel yet still durable to avoid tearing, and also fully recyclable. On top of all this, it suits the clients’ packaging processes.
“There are plenty of technicalities that need to be taken into account both on our end as well as our customer’s,” he notes, “without forgetting the fact that the most important job for the packaging is to protect the product inside it and ensure a certain shelf life.”
Many believes that there is plenty more to come in the packaging sector when it comes to sustainability.
“It’s a common challenge for us packaging manufacturers and our customers to come up with new and innovative solutions to boost the presence of recyclable alternatives and find ways to make them both economical and technically efficient.”
For Walki’s Flexible Packaging Business Line Manager Heikki Lumme and Technical Service and Development Manager Henri Torkkola, the challenges of replacing aluminium in lids are familiar. However, they both point out that many customers, including Arla, want the entire package to be recyclable, not just the cup.
Walki has been developing its fibre-based materials ever since the 1990s. The company has worked hard to beat aluminium’s good qualities, such as heat resistance, and to create a material that suits existing packaging processes, meets food safety standards and can be printed on. Walki®Lid is the answer to all these questions.
When it comes to carbon footprint, Walki®Lid beats aluminium one nil. This, as Lumme says, makes the product particularly suitable for companies that are seriously committed to reducing their emissions throughout the supply chain.