Birds Eye reduces packaging weight following wrap project

M-real Corporation Press release 15 September 2009 at 14:30

M-real Consumer Packaging has helped Birds Eye achieve significant savings in
packaging weight for its frozen food product range, following completion of a
project initiated in partnership with WRAP (Waste & Resources Action
Programme).  An important criterion of the project was that weight reduction
should be achieved without loss of stiffness and strength, vital for
maintaining efficiency on the packing line and to avoid carton collapse in
transit and distribution. 

Birds Eye's total board usage of 3,500 tonnes per annum in the UK decreased by
54 tonnes (1.5%) as a result of the trial, equivalent to CO2 savings of 135-210
tonnes.  M-real enabled this reduction following a rebuild at its Simpele Mill
in Finland, allowing it to achieve extremely high bulk and stiffness in its
upgraded Simcote board, and for its customers to realise improved yield over
alternative packaging grades. 

The WRAP report concludes: ”The work shows selection of the board grade and
weight is a balance between: 

-          Operational efficiency of the actual packaging line.  This is
particularly relevant when considering weight selection and hence board

-          Compression strength of the carton which must be sufficient to
prevent any carton collapse in transit and distribution; again the board weight
and stiffness have a direct effect on the compression strength.” 

Matthew Terry, Technical Service Manager M-real UK, says: “Birds Eye has
already optimised its raw materials prior to the trial and therefore dramatic
savings in tonnage were not expected.  But it did recognise the need to specify
board by stiffness as a key indicator of a board's runnability down the packing
line and through the rest of the supply chain.  Given that Birds Eye were
previously using one of the stiffest boards on the market - our old Simcote
grade - savings of 1.5% are an excellent achievement.” 

M-real invested 70 million euros in the rebuild at its Simpele Mill, including
the installation of two unique pieces of technology: a ValZone metal belt
calender and a Power Dry Plus air dryer.  New reeling and winding machinery was
introduced, helping to preserve the coated board's surface properties and bulk.
 The rebuild also simplified the whole boardmaking process, increasing
production capacity. 

At the same time, surface properties of the board were enhanced, leading to
improved printability, and increased control over the manufacturing process
resulted in greater consistency, further tightening M-real's industry-leading

“Other projects, outside of the WRAP forum, have also confirmed our new Simcote
grade can achieve greater savings compared to other FBBs, and even more when
substituted for a SBB or WLC,” adds Matthew Terry.  “As well as helping our
customers realise potential cost savings, there are environmental benefits at
all stages of the value chain and in a reduced amount of packaging to be
disposed of at the end of its life.” 

A full copy of the WRAP report is available on

Link to photo:

For further information please contact M-real Consumer Packaging:

Ritva Mönkäre, Marketing Manager
Mobile  +358 (0)50 598 7012
E-mail: ritva.monkare(at)

M-real in brief:

M-real is Europe's leading primary fibre paperboard producer and a major paper
supplier. The company's customers include brand owners, carton printers,
converters, publishers, printing houses, merchants and office suppliers. 

M-real supports its customers' businesses by providing high-performance
paperboards and quality papers for consumer packaging, communications and
advertising end-uses. Together with its customers and partners, M-real develops
products and services for demanding end uses. The company's paperboard is
mainly used for the packaging of beautycare and healthcare products, foods,
cigarettes, and consumer durables as well as graphics. Paper is mainly used for
office papers as well as wallcoverings and other speciality end uses. 

M-real's business areas are Consumer Packaging, Office Papers and Speciality
Papers and the reporting structure includes also Market Pulp and Energy

M-real is headquartered in Finland. In 2008, the company's sales totalled EUR
3.2 billion, and it has approximately 6,100 employees. M-real, part of
Metsäliitto Group, is listed on the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Ltd. 

About Us

Metsä Metsä Board is a leading European producer of premium fresh fibre paperboards including folding boxboards, food service boards and white kraftliners. Our lightweight paperboards are developed to provide better, safer and more sustainable solutions for consumer goods as well as retail-ready and food service applications. We work together with our customers on a global scale to innovate solutions for better consumer experiences with less environmental impact. The pure fresh fibres Metsä Board uses are a renewable resource, traceable to origin in sustainably managed northern forests. The global sales network of Metsä Board supports customers worldwide, including brand owners, retailers, converters and merchants. In 2017, the company’s sales totalled EUR 1.8 billion, and it has approximately 2,350 employees. Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is listed on the Nasdaq Helsinki.