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Case Study

Switching from plastic to paper allowed Bimbo to maximise efficiencies and enhance their sustainability credentials

The challenge

  • During periods of high demand, Bimbo ran out of plastic trays for packing their goods. This shortage was due to the tray’s returns cycle taking longer than expected. In addition, the trays were regularly stolen and expensive to replace. 
  • The plastic trays used for long-distance shipments did not protect Bimbo’s goods, meaning that many products were arriving at their destination damaged and not meeting quality standards.
  • Retailers were under pressure to move away from unpacking goods by hand to a model that used shelf-ready packaging – reducing manual labour and the time taken to unpack. 

Our approach

  • Smurfit Kappa and Bimbo held an Innovation Day to fully understand Bimbo’s goals for 2020. Drawing on these insights and our previous project experience, Smurfit Kappa discussed the full range of possibilities available to Bimbo. 
  • The research, design and logistics teams carried out a series of industrial trials, including several packaging and transportation tests, to assure the quality and feasibility of the new tray.




The result

  • The new corrugated solution is the same size as the plastic tray – meaning Bimbo can stack and handle them exactly as before, with limited disruption to the supply chain. As a result of this, the plastic trays were substituted with corrugated during the seasonal demand peaks as well as the long-distance shipments.
  • Bimbo’s new trays are fully branded to enhance product visibility on the shelf.

  • 95% reduction in warehouse space

  • 50% savings in shipping and costs for long-distance distribution

  • 15% water saved in washing and cleaning through environmentally friendly packaging