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PAC Award Winner-Gold

Roast and Ground Composite Can

Overview

The conversion of the Nabob coffee brand to composite paperboard cans allows for the use of very high quantities of recycled content as well as several other sustainability benefits that have been substantiated through third-party life cycle assessments including: a 27% reduction in material weight inputs (50% reduction in can body alone), a 34% reduction in energy inputs, a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a 22% reduction in chemical bad actors. The recycled paperboard that makes up the majority of the weight of the package bears chain-of-custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). The sustainable forestry certification of the 100% recycled paperboard benefits communities by ensuring good environmental practices up through the supply chain.

(All claims above have been substantiated by 3rd party assessment from EPI Environmental Packaging International engaged by Sonoco Packaging Inc)

Motivation for Change

The conversion to composite paperboard cans allows for the use of very high quantities of recycled content as well as several other sustainability benefits that have been substantiated through third-party life cycle assessments including: a 27% reduction in material weight inputs (50% reduction in can body alone), a 34% reduction in energy inputs, a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, and a 22% reduction in chemical bad actors. The recycled paperboard that makes up the majority of the weight of the package bears chain-of-custody certification from the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).

(All claims above have been substantiated by 3rd party assessment from Environmental Packaging International (EPI) engaged by Sonoco Packaging Inc)

Cost Effectiveness

The raw materials used in the package meet and exceed all of the market criteria for performance and cost while providing a lighter weight package that should yield freight savings. The package allows for the use of higher levels of recycled content and since it is a composite of several materials, the raw material cost of composite can is far less volatile when tied to tinplate steel. The composite can should also offer advantages with denting and other types of distribution and handling damage and does not require the reinforcement beads of a steel can thus providing a more attractive appearance on the shelf.

Performance

The new composite paperboard can performs as well as the old steel can with no trade-off's for the customer or the end consumer. (side denting, warehouse stacking, shelf life 12 months)

Sourcing

As mentioned earlier the recycled content is maximized through the use of 100% recycled paperboard on the body wall of the can. The liner is a poly-coated foil liner that is approved as a food contact surface, then the two plies of 100% recycled paperboard make up the majority of the body wall, the film label is then applied on the outside of the can body. The resource management certification systems provided by FSC, SFI, and PEFC were used to manage the material selection process.

Clean Production

No toxic materials are used in the manufacture of this package. The minimal amount of water used is in a closed-loop system. There is also a comprehensive environmental management program in place that includes regular internal and external audits to verify compliance.

Composite can reduced noise levels at the factory compared to steel cans a key benefit to employee health and safety.

Effective Recovery

Due to the two steel ends used on the package, the composite paperboard canisters can be recovered through the curbside recycling programs currently in place for steel cans. Even in communities that utilize single-stream collection, the equipment used to separate steel cans from the rest of the recyclable material; i.e. magnets, can also separate the composite can. The composite cans are then baled along with the steel cans, the steel is recovered in the customary manner, and the rest of the can body provides BTU value to this recovery process.

Community Benefit

The sustainable forestry certification of the 100% recycled paperboard benefits communities by ensuring good environmental practices up through the supply chain. Sonoco has a stand-alone recycling business that recovers millions of tons of recyclables every year thus avoiding the cost and environmental impact of that material going to a landfill.

The FSC certification is used in conjunction with the Rainforest Alliance certification of the coffee beans, so the paired impact of that responsible sourcing initiative is felt in communities around the globe (Nabob Only).

Material Health

All materials used in the package meet all regulatory requirements for use in food packaging. A rigorous product safety program is in place to provide assurance that all raw material suppliers are in compliance with all applicable laws and GMP's, and assessments have been completed to minimize the end-of -life impact of all materials.

Resource & Energy Optimization

The new package provided a 27% reduction in material weight inputs (50% reduction in can body alone) and a 34% reduction in energy inputs compared to the old steel can. These reductions were substantiated by third-party life cycle assessment. The cube utilization is the same as with the old package.

Categories: Composite Paper & Board PAC Award Winner

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