How Kesko saves 27 tonnes of plastic & optimises logistics for flowers

All by replacing plastic flower buckets with the leak-tight and renewable corrugated EcoFlowerBox.

Finnish Grocery traders Kesko are switching out plastic buckets for transporting tulips with a more sustainable alternative: EcoFlowerBox

Kesko’s sustainability strategy is the driver behind the switch, and replacing the plastic buckets is one action taken towards their target to drive sustainability throughout the value chain.

tonnes of plastic saved every year

Equating to 1.3 million plastic bags

With Kesko’s move from plastic buckets to the renewable corrugated cardboard EcoFlowerBox.

The story of EcoFlowerBox

EcoFlowerBox by Stora Enso Packaging Solutions was developed together with tulip grower Partaharjun Puutarha. They bought new plastic buckets every year and wanted to find a solution using less plastic. 
They asked for a leak-tight, cost-effective, flower packaging, that is sustainable, suitable for the logistic chain and easy to use.

Made from 97% renewable materials

With these specifications EcoFlowerBox was developed by a Stora Enso packaging designer. It’s a box made from corrugated board, consisting of 97% renewable materials. It’s square, instead of round and stack-able which makes it optimised for transport since more boxes than buckets fit on the pallets.
In storage, the boxes can be kept flat to save warehouse space. They are quick to erect and neither tape nor glue is needed. This was important when developing EcoFlowerBox, as this stage in the production chain cannot be allowed to slow down the process for growers. 

Optimised for transport from growers to shops

To safely transport flowers on bumpy roads from growers to stores, the EcoFlowerBox consists of two boxes in one

The transport box:
Has a closed top and optimises shipment efficiency compared to plastic buckets since it allows stacking the boxes on top of each other, keeping the flowers protected. For Partaharjun Puutarha, the shipment efficiency was increased with 25% as they went from fitting 60 buckets to 75 boxes on one pallet

The inner box:
A leak-tight box that can be used as display box in stores. It is durable and holds the water inside because of a barrier on the inner surface of the corrugated board. In cases where the flowers are not transported by pallet and truck, the inner box is enough on its own. 

Both boxes can be recycled in the paper stream. 

Tried and tested

After successful transport testing of 10,000 boxes holding flowers with different water levels, Partaharjun Puutarha has now scaled up. Now, a big part of their yearly production of 35-40 million tulips are packed and transported in EcoFlowerBoxes. 

The EcoFlowerBox has received both a ScanStar and a World Star Award for its sustainable packaging concept. 
Packaging design by Miia Vettenranta, Stora Enso  
"We are continuously looking for new ways to reduce unnecessary use of plastic, as well as seeking new agile, solutions with our partners. The transportation box for Pirkka tulips, created with Stora Enso, is one example of the results of this work."
Timo Jäske
Sustainability Director  Kesko’s grocery trade division
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