The primary purpose of packaging is to protect the product it contains and prevent reduction in quality. Replacing plastic in packaging for a damp organic product like soil is challenging, especially since the soil is usually stored outdoors. However, we can reduce the environmental effects of plastic, and efficient plastic recycling and good design of plastic products and packaging are key factors in making that happen.
This spring, Biolan will package 1.4 million bags of soil with recycled plastic
Biolan’s fertiliser containers have been made from recycled plastic for a while already. Now Biolan is turning its attention to the packaging materials of its soil products. Plastic packaging waste collected from Finnish households is used to replace the virgin plastic that Biolan’s garden soil bags were made of previously.
Developing new packaging materials requires innovation from partners as well and the whole supply chain must participate in the development and implementation processes. Biolan’s long-term partner and plastic packaging manufacturer RKW Finland had a key role in developing Biolan’s packaging. RKW Finland uses Fortum’s recycled plastic granulate for the new packaging.
Many businesses are heavily investing in more responsible operations and want to use recycled plastic for their packaging. Due to this, RKW Finland has also invested in new production equipment that enables using recycled plastic as raw material even more efficiently than before.
“Using recycled plastic for packaging garden soil is a concrete step toward a circular economy, and Biolan wants to be a pioneer in sustainable growth and in creating a circular economy. We can all do our part if we so choose, even if it’s one bag of soil at a time!” says Mikko Leed, Sourcing Manager at Biolan. “Fortum Circo® as a plastic raw material is full of potential. We know that Fortum has optimised its processing of household plastic packages into recycled plastic in a way that ensures no compromises need to be made when it comes to quality or responsibility”, Leed continues.
Biolan garden soil packaged in the new material reaches the shelves of stores this spring. The new bag for black garden soil is identical to the old version, but to ensure their recyclability, the insides of the new bags are grey instead of black. This ensures the bags are identified correctly at Fortum’s plastic refinery when the bags end up there to be recycled again. After all, the recyclability of plastic can be significantly improved with the design of the packaging.
“Plastic is an excellent packaging material when it’s allowed to be recycled again and again”, summarises Mikko, and it is easy to agree with him.