Sustainability Reimagining Packaging

Sustainability: Reimagining Packaging by Removing Individual Cartons



According to the World Bank, paper and cardboard make up 17% of generated global waste, the second highest amount after food and green waste. As a market-leading global supplier of tube-filling systems, Norden machinery is committed to doing its part in making tube filling and packaging more sustainable and continues to innovate in this area.

Global Waste diagram

Reducing packaging waste is driven not just by increasing governmental regulations, which ban or will ban packaging products like toothpaste or makeup in individual boxes, it is also driven in part by industry players: supermarket and beauty supply chains are increasingly removing box packaging from their own brand products, not only to reduce waste, but also to save money.

If we use toothpaste as an example of excess packaging waste, roughly 3 billion tubes of toothpaste are consumed annually in Europe – and if all those tubes are sold in individual boxes that are tossed aside as soon as they are opened, that is a lot of waste being generated.

NTP 80 Tray and Box Packer

As you probably know Norden has been delivering tray packers for more than 10 years and these are mainly used by big multi-nationals running 200-500 tubes per minute. But we have seen a market also for smaller lines where the tubes used to be manually packed into boxes, a task that is very labour intensive. That’s why approximately 2 years ago, we launched the NTP 80, running “only” 80 tubes per minute mainly replacing that manual labour.

Project Manager Mattias Grahm made a calculation using a normal 35mm tube. He thought: What if, instead of packing those tubes into individual cartons you pack them into trays or boxes that hold 12 tubes per trays or box?  What would that do for the environment and reducing a company’s carbon footprint?

Box and carton

“Basically, our NM 702 machine fills 80 tubes per minute, making it our most popular machine, “If you run it in normal production running 1 shift, you produce roughly 7.3 million tubes a year, which is a very high volume. With a tray or box containing 12 tubes, you get 600 thousand packing boxes, instead of 7.3 million individual cartons.”

A shipping box weighs 80g, while 12 individual cartons weighs 260g. If the NM 702 fills 7.3 million tubes annually, shipping tubes in individual cartons totals 160 000 kg a year compared to 50 000 kg for shipping boxes. Carbon emissions for cardboard & paper is roughly 1kg carbon emission per 1kg of packaging.

So switching from individual cartons to trays or larger boxes, you can save up to 110 tonnes of Co2 annually on a single NTP 80. This weight savings means you are not only reducing your carbon footprint, you are also saving money, both from using less materials and reduced fuel usage due to lower load in vehicles.

To give you some perspective that amount of Co2 equals a single passenger flying from Sweden to Thailand on a return flight..44 times!

The Cutting Edge of Tube Filling TZMO adhering to zero-waste policy while investing in new production capacity