Fazer and UPM Specialty Papers have developed new packaging for Fazer's Oat Rice Pies. 

Traditional plastic-laminated packaging paper has been replaced with a paper solution, which is easier to recycle and does not compromise product protection. The packaging has been recognized in the WorldStar, ScanStar and New Wood competitions and can already be found in the chill food aisles of Finnish supermarkets. 

Rice Pies are a traditional snack eaten throughout Finland, with a thin rye – or, in this case, oat – crust and rice porridge filling.

The new Fazer Oat Rice Pie packaging is in line with both Fazer's Sustainable Packaging Vision and UPM's Biofore strategy. The packaging solution is the result of more than two years of development work to ensure the recyclability of the packaging without compromising food safety and the quality of the rice pies.

"We are working closely with the packaging value chain to achieve Fazer's responsible packaging goals,” says Piia Soininen-Tengvall, Fazer's director of packaging development. “Each partner brings valuable expertise to the development work. This project combined Fazer's expertise in food production and the production process while also ensuring food safety, with UPM Specialty Papers' expertise in developing demanding specialty papers. We are impressed with how well the new, easier to recycle packaging protects and preserves the high quality of the Oat Rice Pies until the best before date. The packaging solution works on our existing packaging process and achieves all this by reducing fossil-based materials.”

In the packaging paper developed by UPM Specialty Papers, both the barrier and heat seal properties have been incorporated into the packaging paper without a separate layer of plastic lamination. The barrier properties are designed to protect the product until the best-before date, while ensuring that, for example, grease in the product cannot penetrate the package.

"Packaging papers have the advantage of being recyclable within a widely established fiber recycling infrastructure,” says Susanna Hyrkäs, senior manager, sustainability, UPM Specialty Papers. “Today, more than 80 percent of the fiber-based packaging material used in Europe is recycled. Our product development is always based on the premise of ensuring recyclability, in addition to ensuring product safety and the required functional properties.”

The new Oat Rice Pies packaging is based on the UPM Confidio barrier paper, which is heat-sealable. In recyclability test, the recycling reject of unprinted UPM Confidio paper is about 1 percent, which means that about 99 percent of the paper can be used to create new, recycled products. The recycling reject of plastic-coated paper packaging is significantly higher.