Every year in Finland alone we get through somewhere in the region of 350–400 million takeaway coffee cups and 150 million lids. And most of us don’t think twice about the consequences for the environment as we grab yet another plastic lid and struggle to press it in place.
Entrepreneur Matti Salonoja, however, isn’t most of us. The founder of The Paper Lid Company has been wrestling with the challenge of creating a 100% recyclable, fibre-based alternative to plastic lids for takeaway beverage cups for many years, and he has a like-minded ally in Ilkka.
“Ilkka and I have been turning this problem over and over in our minds ever since we first met, and now thanks to Metsä Board’s invaluable support we’ve created a functional solution that ticks all the right boxes,” Matti says.
Goodbye plastic, hello paperboard
The Paper Lid Company uses lightweight dispersion barrier coated paperboard to create a lid that fits snugly onto the cup with a satisfying click. Besides a great user experience, the lid offers also excellent functional performance. “The lid can cope with the humidity and heat from hot drinks without becoming soggy and is also ideal for cold drinks too,” Matti explains. “As well as being fully recyclable and biodegradable, it has great potential as a branding tool because the paperboard can easily be embossed with logos and lettering. There are things you can do with this lid that would be painfully expensive to do with a plastic lid.”
The company’s production line is already up and running, converting the first batch of Metsä Board paperboard at their 850-square-metre manufacturing facility in Masku, close to the city of Turku in southwest Finland.