A conscious golfer's eco-feat is to buy golf balls in packaging that has a new life as an insect hotel once the packaging has been used. This innovative idea and packaging solution has recently received the most public votes in the spring 2022 New Wood project competition. It is a concrete example of circular economy, where a product, after its primary use, has another function before it ends up in the recycling.
The Finnish Golf Coat Ltd wanted to create a packaging solution for its best-selling product that supported biodiversity and promoted the circular economy. Golf Coat's brand is based on eco-friendliness and biodegradability of products, so the use of a reusable box was particularly suited to the company's values and mindset.
"Our aim was to create a simple, smart and cost-effective structure that would be easy to assemble and fill with, for example, leaves, saw dust or dry grass after its primary use as a golf ball box. Metsä Board and its partners developed an insightful packaging that provides an artificial nesting structure and shelter for insects and pollinators," says Aki Kuivaniemi, CEO of Golf Coat Oy.
"Our packaging provides a habitat that is good for nature, and also brings circular economy thinking to the game of golf, it is also good for the image of the sport as a whole. The encouraging responses from the public, inspired by the New Wood vote, are testament to this concept – it was a pleasure to read them and use them to further innovate new packaging," Kuivaniemi adds.
The insect hotel was designed in an online workshop facilitated by Metsä Board's Excellence Centre. This design method is part of Metsä Board's 360 Services – it brings packaging industry partners together and accelerates the market introduction of new solutions and ideas.
"To create the insect hotel concept, we needed close cooperation between all the partners. The design process involved Golf Coat, the originator of the idea, packaging design company Futupack, packaging converter Pyroll and our own designers," says Ilkka Harju, Packaging Services Director EMEA and APAC at Metsä Board.
"The insect hotel is a good example of how we can support biodiversity in the city as well. You can help pollinating insects by placing an insect hotel on your balcony or in your yard, for example, in a sheltered and sunny place," Harju points out.
The golf ball packaging, and insect hotel, is made of MetsäBoard Pro FBB Bright paperboard. It is currently sold in Finland, Sweden, Korea and Japan. Metsä Board is part of Metsä Group.