Open Innovation challenge

The challenges

Sustainable Packaging: Develop innovative Yara packaging solutions which reduce environmental impact

Open innovation challenge - Sustainable packaging

The world today

Sustainability and circular economy are important for Yara. We dedicate a lot of attention to how we dispose of polymer products waste, like for example packaging. Plastic products risk finding their way into the food chain via the ocean. Polymer waste is an increasing challenge not only for industry, but for society at large. 

The challenge

How can Yara reduce the impact on the environment by finding alternative and innovative packaging solutions?

Key requirements and information

Our products are moved to destinations using various methods of transportation: Road, rail, coaster, barge and ship. The minimum requirements to be met for the proposed solutions are:

  • Packaging material has to comply with the legal requirements related to strength testing
  • Ability to print “rubbing proof” text on the packaging material (both commercial and legal text)
  • Packaging material should endure the pressure of several layers of bags being stacked
  • Packaging material should remain in operating condition through extreme climate variations
  • Packaging material must keep its properties following heavy and long-term exposure to sunshine
  • Taking all aspects above into consideration, packaging needs to stay compelling to the customer

Function of packaging: Easy and safe product handling; maintaining product quality (moisture barrier); safety traceability and batch requirements; promotional device to trigger a purchase and build the Yara brand:

  • Today’s bags are made of woven polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE)
  • Big bags are lifted by handles attached to the top of the bag 
  • Smaller bags are often stacked on pallets, or handled manually
  • Packaging comes in various sizes ranging from 1kg to 1,200kg 
  • Our bags are handled in different ways depending on the Yara location.
  • In Europe we have bagging machines and a fairly automated loading/unloading process

Desired outcome

An environmental friendly and commercially viable packaging solution for Yara’s fertilizer products that reduces environmental impact while keeping or improving our market position and satisfying our customer needs.

Thought starters

  • Could Yara use different/additional materials (for example green bio-degradable)
  • How could Yara reduce waste (develop a service/ process for reuse)?
  • What innovative packaging solutions could create new opportunities for the industry?
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