Stora Enso Oyj: – An award-winning reusable packaging solution for kayak paddles


Melker from Sweden is an outdoor company aiming to be the best in sustainability. The design collaboration with Stora Enso developing packaging for their new paddle has been a success in more ways than one. The entry is a renewable corrugated cardboard box, wall mount, storyteller and award-winning design – free from fossil plastic.

“We used to wrap our paddles in bubble wrap and tape, which didn’t suit us at all. We aim to be the best when it comes to outdoor durability and are always looking for new, environmentally friendly materials to use in our products. So of course we also want to minimize plastic in our packaging, ”says Emil Gylenberg, COO at Melker from Sweden.

Melker from Sweden is an outdoor business that sells kayaks, paddles, outdoor gear and clothing. They have the bold ambition to completely change the game of the outdoor hardware industry. “We want to make a real difference. Making the best products is crucial to saving the planet, ”says company founder, Stafshede excavator. In 2021, they launched a new kayak paddle and needed packaging for it, packaging without fossil plastic.

“There was no efficient or sustainable way to pack the paddles before this. We wanted to find a better solution. We also wanted something fun with a cute design. The box must also be an experience, in line with the product we are selling, ”continues Emil.

Make a box that is also a wall mount and a storyteller

With the design team of Stora Enso Packaging Solutions, they collaborated in workshops. Melker from Sweden needed durable, tough packaging that would protect fragile paddles. In addition, they asked the design team for a “second life feature”.

“They were very interested in reuse and did not want the box to be recycled or thrown away directly after unpacking, which is why they asked us to integrate a feature so that the box has a second life”, explains irts Derums , master design project.

After many ideas, the result is a corrugated cardboard box that can also be used as a wall rack for your paddles. Part of the box can be removed and wall mounted to store paddles when not in use. Since corrugated cardboard is a rigid material, it works perfectly. The part that is not attached to the wall can be recycled in the paper recycling.

While the Stora Enso team delivered the packaging design, Melker from Sweden provided the illustration for the inside of the box. It consists of photos of kayaking adventures and short snippets of their outdoor stories, or “Melker moments”. “The comments we have received from customers about the packaging are that it ‘really looks like us.’ I think that proves that the design collaboration has been excellent,” concludes Émile.

Excellent collaboration and new materials rewarded

The design team also made a different take on the paddle packaging, trying out the new Papira material from Stora Enso. Papira, which is not yet on the market, is a fully bio-based, biodegradable, compostable and recyclable wood foam in the recycling of ordinary paper. In this version of the box, Papira wood foam inserts have been added to reduce packing time and give extra protection to the paddles. In September 2021, this version received the Gold Award for the most outstanding and innovative packaging at Fachpack, the German packaging awards competition, in the New Materials category. A pilot plant for Papira by Stora Enso should be operational by the end of 2021. Learn more about our exciting journey with Papira to manufacture fully bio-based packaging inside and out.

Part of the bioeconomy, Stora Enso is one of the world’s leading providers of renewable solutions in the fields of packaging, biomaterials, timber construction and paper. We employ some 23,000 people and have sales in over 50 countries and our stocks are listed on the Helsinki (STEAV, STERV) and Stockholm (STE A, STE R) scholarships.


Telephone: +46 1046 000 00

Fax: +46 8 106 020

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