What makes this case special by nature?
- COS’ customers are looking for truly sustainable products. Traditionally the wrapper protecting copy paper has been laminated with plastic, making it difficult to recycle.
- UPM Specialty Papers and COS launched New Future Opti in Australia. Each ream of copy paper is wrapped in UPM Asendo, a barrier paper that can be placed in your regular paper recycling bin.
- To date, COS and UPM Specialty Papers have helped avoid over 2.2 million wrappers from landfill.
- The customers are loving the sustainability innovation on a very traditional product, and they are connecting with the New Future story.
COS and UPM Specialty Papers: Co-creation fosters recyclable wrapping innovation
Did you know that the wrapper protecting copy paper has traditionally been laminated with plastic, making it difficult to recycled?
Together, Australia’s largest family-owned office supplier, COS, and UPM Specialty Papers set out on a quest to change this. The fruit of this cooperation is a new brand of office papers, New Future Opti, wrapped in fully recyclable non-plastic copy paper ream wrap.
COS’ customers asked for truly sustainable products, explains Belinda Lyone, Co-CEO at COS. Thanks to UPM’s global technological insights, the two companies were able to answer the demand.
“In a meeting together, we came up with this idea of a paper-based wrapper that the Australian market had never seen,” she recalls.
A barrier paper protects the product
The result of the co-creation process was the new copy paper brand, New Future Opti. The plastic coating in the packaging paper has – for the very first time in the Asia-Pacific Region – been replaced with paper-based barrier technology. The barrier paper protects the product from humidity and other disturbances from the elements without the use of a plastic coating.
When you have unwrapped the stack of copy paper, the packaging can go into your regular paper recycling bin. It is also tested and certified for being compostable and biodegradable.
“With this product, to date, we have avoided over 2.2 million wrappers from landfill,” notes Melinda Hughes, Group Category Manager at COS.
This is indeed a remarkable step towards a more sustainable future, but it is not only the packaging that has become more sustainable. The copy paper inside the package is also a lighter paper of 68 grams per square meter instead of the typical 80.
Co-creation draws on unique strengths
The innovative solution for the copy paper wrapper is the result of close cooperation between COS and UPM.
“Co-creation has become an important part of UPM Specialty Papers’ approach in recent years,” explains Sales Manager for Australia Will Killinger.
“This has opened UPM’s innovation process up and allowed us to better understand our customers’ needs, drawing on each party’s unique strengths in developing bespoke solutions.”
COS’ Melinda Hughes knew from many years of working with UPM that the team is always open to innovation. She was, however, amazed at the level of dedication she met.
“We worked with different departments of UPM and each team member at UPM understood the importance of every element to make this process a success,” she says.
Belinda Lyone notes that the entire process felt like a “true cooperation.”
“We felt we were working together as one team across the globe. We had a shared vision of bringing a product to the Australian market that would make a genuine impact on the environment.”
Customers embrace New Future
The whole co-creation process with UPM was sparked by demand from COS’ customers. Therefore, Belinda Lyone is particularly happy about the “overwhelmingly positive” response the product has received.
“The customers are loving the sustainability innovation on a very traditional product, and we are finding they are connecting with the New Future story,” she says.
In the eyes of UPM’s Will Killinger, the New Future Opti highlights what can be achieved through co-creation and the will to make a change.
“It should act as an inspiration for others who see the need of replacing fossil-based packaging with more sustainable alternatives.”