Cupforma Natura Aqua+ is on everyone’s lips – as a paper lid of the new age

In 2021, the global consumption of paper cups reached more than 244.7 billion units. Most of them still have a non-recyclable plastic lid on. Finnish entrepreneur Matti Salonoja wanted to create an option for plastic. Stora Enso Cupforma Natura Aqua+ gave a great base for the groundbreaking solution.

Matti Salonoja ended up making paper lids partly by chance. In 2008, he and his friend thought about having a business and ended up importing branded paper cups to Finland. When his friend left the company after a couple of years, Salonoja started selling cups full-time, and in 2014 he decided to get a cardboard cup machine himself.

Back then, the coating on the paper cups prevented them from being recycled. During 2015, however, several cardboard manufacturers started to develop an alternative to plastic used in cups, made of water-based coated cardboard.

“At that time there were two companies with a cup machine in Finland and as a smaller company, it was easier to come to me to test cardboard solutions. That is how I gained experience with the products of many different companies, the properties of materials and how they should be used in machines”, says Salonoja, entrepreneur of Kruunukartonki company in Masku, Finland.

In 2017, the cups had recyclable cardboard, but a plastic lid. While dyeing still makes it impossible to recycle plastic, the cup was simultaneously presenting two extremes of ecology.

“I wanted to find a better solution, and I knew that in theory it was possible to make a recyclable paper lid. Understanding the materials was crucial. I tested different techniques and materials on my own machine, and by 2019, it was possible to produce the lids with the existing technology.”

Cupforma Natura Aqua+ gave the base for a big change
Knowing that the right kind of material is available was important to Salonoja when he considered switching from manufacturing paper cups to lids.

“I contacted Stora Enso and asked if they would supply me with suitable material if I started making paper lids. They promised that, and it was decisive support when I had the courage to develop a new solution.”

Ending up with Stora Enso’s Cupforma Natura Aqua+ cardboard when choosing cover materials was by no means a coincidence for Salonoja.

“Stora Enso has the longest experience in the world in the production of disposable cardboard. Cupforma Natura Aqua+ has been refined to such an extent that it is pleasant to use. I used to make cups from the same material, so it was familiar to me. You can see from Cupforma that it is one of the best cardboards in the world, and it works very well in our process.”

The key features of Cupforma Natura Aqua+ are its workability, structure and raw material suitable for manufacturing lids.
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