Finland-based pulp and paper firm Stora Enso has launched a new sustainable cardboard packaging box designed for pellets.

The new packaging box has been developed as an eco-friendly solution to replace plastic packaging.

It offers advantages for households with regard to transporting and storing the pellets. The new cardboard packaging box is claimed to be fully recyclable.

Stora Enso intends to initially launch the sustainable box in Italy, which is said to have Europe’s largest pellets market for private households.

Stora Enso pellets product manager Marion LeRoy-Loikala said: “The pellet box is now available in the smaller size of 12kg – easier to carry home from the shop, easier to pour into the stove and easier to store at home.

“The new product is therefore sustainable through and through – our renewable heating fuel is now also supplied in packaging that can be reused or simply recycled after use.”

Stora Enso collaborated with Finnish branding and design agency Aune Creative to develop the box graphic design.

Before launching the product in the Italian market, the company will conduct an extensive pilot testing of the cardboard packaging at its Estonian Näpi sawmill.

The product will be rolled out in other European markets after evaluating the customer feedback for up to two years.

Stora Enso Pellets Business Line vice-president and business director Joachim Colliander said: “Our main objectives are to increase our brand awareness and market share in Italy and other relevant household markets, while diversifying our customer base and contributing to the reduction of overall plastics consumption.

“The European demand for heating pellets as a renewable and sustainable source of energy is forecast to increase steadily by 5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) in the coming years.”