Metsä Board Collaborates with Industry Experts to Create the World’s Lightest Pizza Box
Since the mid-1960s, pizza boxes have basically stayed the same. That prompted Metsä Board to collaborate with industry professionals to create a food-safe packaging that would reduce both material and printing ink usage, benefitting the environment without compromising performance, function or print quality. The result is a high-functioning, light pizza box that was showcased at the Interpack fair in Düsseldorf, May 4 - 10.
Compared to traditional solutions, the weight and material consumption of the box has been reduced by approximately 30%. The fresh fiber MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright used for the box weighs 80 g/m2 (16 lbs/1000ft2). Despite the reduced weight, the E-flute corrugated board box’s structure provides the necessary rigidity while the fresh fiber material the necessary purity to hold a freshly baked pizza. “All the corrugated board layers are made of the same material, which makes the production logistics efficient too,” says Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director at Metsä Board.
To achieve this goal, Metsä Board brought together various professionals to collaborate. The pizza box was designed by Futupack and the packaging was manufactured by Adara Pakkaus, while the lightweight paperboard substrate was provided by Metsä Board to provide a better, safer, and more sustainable solution for food-grade applications. It is a fully bleached, uncoated white kraftliner suitable for flexo, offset, and digital inkjet printing and is available in a basis weight range of 70-160 g/m².
Focus on printability and use of color
Special attention was given to the printing qualities of the packaging. Researcher and expert on ECG Expanded Gamut printing, Dr Kai Lankinen, consulted on the graphic design, prepress, and flexographic printing requirements.
“Working with Metsä Board and their team has been inspiring. What sets this project apart is the focus on the entire cycle of the product, beyond just the liner board material, with a special emphasis on printing quality, efficiency, and sustainability. In the design phase, the team took into account the possibilities and requirements of flexographic printing, which lead to an excellent print result, even though this is an uncoated paper stock,” Dr Lankinen explains.
To showcase the excellent printing properties of the material, Finnish packaging manufacturer Adara Pakkaus produced the corrugated material and printing of the box. The high-resolution CMYK image was enriched with spot green and line black colors to enable a bright solid green combined with rich black texts. MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright allowed a high-quality image printing in CMYK.
The material's high degree of whiteness provides superb print contrast for packaging. Its uncoated surface gives an attractive matte look and tactile feel. It can be used for all-white corrugated board, as a top or reverse-side liner, and also as fluting. The E-flute solution offers a consistent and good printing surface for utilizing a large contrast range of process printing from lightest highlights to darkest shadows while maintaining details.
Metsä Board’s Sustainability Service compared the packaging to existing solutions and made a detailed analysis of its environmental impact by looking at both the material and the production. Compared to traditional solutions made of recycled fiber, the weight of this pizza box made of MetsäBoard Natural WKL Bright was up to 38% lighter and its carbon footprint up to 50% lower.
The preceding press release was provided by a company unaffiliated with Packaging Impressions. The views expressed within do not directly reflect the thoughts or opinions of Packaging Impressions.