Research project

New packaging solutions for people, planet and business
Uudet pakkausratkaisut ihmisen, maapallon ja liiketoiminnan hyväksi

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2022

End date: 31/12/2023



Academy of Finland


PACKAGE-HEROES project searches for packaging service solutions, which address simultaneously food protection and the global, and constantly increasing concern of plastic packaging waste. It has been calculated that 302 million tonnes of plastic waste was generated in 192 coastal countries in 2015, with up to 13 million tonnes entering the oceans. In 2018, packaging accounted for 46 percent of global plastic waste generation. Consumer preferences and habits are changing towards valuing environmental and welfare qualities: safety, quality and sustainability of food. The future solutions are not only technologies or materials, but also more sustainable systems and services. This requires holistic understanding of the multiple roles that packaging serves in the food value-chain.

The identified global drivers offer great opportunities for the forerunners to reorient their business. The bio-based materials research in Finland, especially fibre-based, is distinguished. Novel materials may replace conventional plastics, but their commercialisation requires not only changes of markets but also clear political guidelines. At the same time, Finnish food industry faces increasing global competition, indicating urgency to a shift towards personalised solutions, agile logistics and vertical production. The shift towards service-centric model benefits deep understanding customer needs and cultures.

PACKAGE-HEROES project findings will help to adopt novel fibre-based recyclable material concepts in accordance with single-use plastic regulations. Collaborative research design supports the emerging business ecosystems to commercialise the solutions fulfilling contemporary demands. The project also envisions the long-term radical transformations from ‘materials only’ approach towards understanding packaging as service. We are engaging business actors, public authorities, NGOs and citizen- consumers to co-create measures to overcome the above-mentioned challenges and adopt novel legislation for single-use-plastics. We already have created desirable visions and generated knowledge of incentives, now we are identifying new consumption patterns, investigating scalability and assessing the environmental impacts of food packaging solutions. Based on all generated knowledge, we identify potential policy mixes in the Finnish national context to boost the formation of globally competitive business ecosystems.


market creation, entrepreneurship, food packaging, disposable package, fibre-based package, plastic waste, renewable, recyclable, business ecosystem, sustainability transformation, consumer culture, policy measure, life cycle assessment

Last updated on 2021-02-12 at 13:51