Home Materials Eco-Makeover:...

Eco-Makeover: Cristalco Cuts Plastic with Cardboard Sprinklers from Sonoco

With a goal of reducing the carbon footprint of its packaging, Cristalco proceeded to re-think the design of its 500g Daddy Sugar icing sugar sprinkler container. Previously consisting of a polyethylene (PEHD) body completely covered by an oriented polystyrene (OPS) sleeve and a polypropylene (PP) lid, it was an obvious candidate for an eco-revamp.

After five years of work, six technical studies and multiple life cycle analyses to define the best concept and material choices, the Cristalco is launching a new cardboard packaging from Sonoco that contains 80% less plastic.

Supplied by Sonoco, the new cardboard container, with 68% of recycled fibre comes with a PE film innerliner to preserve the contents and limit sugar caking by protecting it from humidity. The PP lid (produced by Rovip) has two openings, one with six small holes for sprinkling, while the other has a wider opening for pastry-making.

“We’ve improved the sprinkler so that the icing sugar pours out better,” explains Julie Moréac, Head of Packaging Development and Technical Support at Cristalco. “We wanted the lid to be as eco-designed as possible, while still retaining its core functionalities. It needed to offer easy dispensing, opening and closing, and a tamper-evident seal. The lid, meanwhile, had to retain its shape and not “ovalise” despite us reducing the amount of material use to form it. These posed significant challenges to overcome.”

Moréac adds: “In addition, the lid is held in the can, without glue, to prevent potential contamination and to keep the amount of materials used to a minimum. The challenge here is securing the lid securely into the cardboard body, the diameter of which can change by as much as a few tenths of a millimetre.”

An 80% reduction in the use of virgin plastic

Sonoco responded to the challenge and the end result of the project is that Cristalco has now reduced the amount of virgin plastic in its primary packaging by 80% since 2019. This compares with a reduction of 64% just before the Sugar Daddy switch to rigid paper containers.

The new Sonoco rigid paper containers are available on supermarket shelves, under the both the “Daddy” and “Erstein” brands, from June 2024.

Sebastien Fabre, Strategic Account Manager at Sonoco Consumer Europe, adds: “We’re always delighted to help companies reach their sustainability goals by reducing non-recyclable materials in their packaging and helping them to find an alternative solution. We’re pleased to have been part of that solution for Cristalco and look forward to working with them into the future.”