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OLW launches crisp bags with bio-based plastic

OLW, a Swedish snacks manufacturer and brand belonging to Orkla Confectionery & Snacks Sverige AB, a subsidiary of Norway-headed supplier of branded consumer goods Orkla ASA, has begun the rollout of new crisp bags made with bio-based plastic derived from Finnish tall oil, a residual product from the pulp and paper industry. The plastic in the new crisp packaging will have half the climate footprint compared to fossil plastic.

OLW, a Swedish snacks manufacturer and brand belonging to the Nordic branded consumer goods major Orkla ASA has begun the rollout of new crisp bag packaging made with bio-based plastic (photo courtesy OLW).

The new crisp bags are third-party certified by ISCC and the plastic has a halved climate footprint compared to the previous bags made of fossil plastic. This is made possible by a so-called mass balance solution, which means that the packaging supplier in its general production replaces fossil oil with tall oil in the corresponding amount used to manufacture OLW’s chip bags.

The mass balance system means that some of OLW’s bags may contain more tall oil while others less or nothing at all. Tall oil is a residual product that arises from pulp and paper production in the forest industry.

We want to make it easier to make climate-smart choices. The packaging is an important part of all our products, and at the same time, plastic packaging, in particular, can have an impact on both the environment and the climate. Therefore, it feels great to be the first Swedish player to be able to put crisp bags with plastic made of tall oil in on the snack shelf, said Sara Malmström, Sustainability Manager at Orkla Confectionery & Snacks.

The new bags are initially introduced on 275-gram bags of  “Grill Chips”, “Sourcream & Onion Chips”, “Dill & Gräslök”, and “Saltade Chips” flavoured crisps.

We are testing with a pack size of our most popular types of chips, to begin with, but our ambition is to gradually introduce plastic bags on tall oil for all snack bag packaging, said Sara Malmström.

Part of a climate-smart strategy

The Orkla companies in Sweden, which include Orkla Confectionery & Snacks, aim to contribute to a more climate-smart everyday life. Part of that work is to develop packaging that is better for the climate and the environment.

In addition to introducing packaging with bioplastic, Orkla also works to make all packaging recyclable and to increase the proportion of recycled materials in the packaging.

Our everyday consumption has a major impact on our ability to achieve climate goals and at the same time, seven out of ten Swedes want to buy sustainable products. When we now launch crisp bags where the plastic has a halved climate footprint, we hope to make it easier to make climate-smart choices, said Sofie Ek, communications manager at Orkla Sverige.


About mass balance

When purchasing certified raw materials, as tall oil is in this case, a mass balance solution is the most common method. This means that the customer requires the supplier to replace a certain amount of fossil-based with fossil-free in the supplier’s system. The mass balance solution is also used, for example, when buying green electricity. Orkla can thus not guarantee that each bag consists of fossil-free plastic. The amount of bioplastic that corresponds to the production of 275-gram bags of “Grill Chips”, “Sourcream & Onion Chips”, “Dill & Gräslök”, and “Saltade Chips” flavoured crisps has replaced the corresponding amount of fossil plastic in the packaging supplier’s total production. As a result, the total amount of fossil oil used has decreased, while the use of fossil-free tall oil has increased by a corresponding amount, which means a reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

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