The prototype presented at Luxe Pack Monaco is made of 70% cardboard paper with added barrier materials. The challenge being to reduce the use of plastic.
The idea of a cardboard tube for cosmetics dates back to 2012, when a group of Finnish student designers dreamed up the concept for a competition organized by Stora Enso. "In the space of a few years, the context has become more favorable for this type of project given the current European directives and the issue of plastics in the market," notes Hervé Vue, sales director consumer brand at Stora Enso.
The papermaker approached Aisa, a machine manufacturer, to develop a cardboard material suitable for producing the tubes. "The main challenge was in terms of the fibers to guarantee flexibility," he continues. Several test phases have resulted in a cardboard material that is composed of virgin fibers combined with a grease-resistant barrier layer, making it suitable for primary packaging for skincare formulas. In their current form, the cardboard tubes reduce plastic consumption by 70% compared to conventional plastic tubes—a first step towards a 100% wood-based tube.
Stora Enso is currently working on the development of bio-composite materials in a bid to replace the tube's remaining plastic components. "Our ambition is to develop a level of quality that meets all the possible technical constraints for this type of application," notes Vue. The tube’s cardboard material is produced at Stora Enso’s Imatra site in Finland.