Working with stakeholders: The Think Circle & other initiatives


In order to achieve our ambitions, we collaborate with key stakeholders – we believe that no one organization can address the challenges of sustainability alone. Together, we must build a common understanding of sustainable development that considers the balance between environmental, social and economic factors, and is based on fact-based conversations.

We believe that the key for unlocking sustainability is innovation, and in order to innovate, we need partners across the value chain. We play a key role in facilitating fact-based discussions between the packaging industry and regulators to help move the sustainability agenda forward and create a favorable environment for innovation. One of the platforms through which we facilitate fact based discussions is our Think Circle initiative. Think Circle brings together key stakeholders from across the global food value chain to openly address issues we face as we design for packaging circularity. This platform reflects differing viewpoints from a range of contributors, such as leaders from academia, business, NGOs and other key institutions. Its aim is to move the circularity dialogue forward, contribute to a common understanding and arrive at breakthroughs that deliver significant progress.

The latest Think Circle event held in Shanghai focused on launching a circular solution for paper packaging in China. Our panelists concluded that innovation is necessary to resolve the conflict between economic development and resource utilization, and recycling needs to be scaled up to make it economical.

Read more about Think Circle and the stakeholders involved

Other examples of our stakeholder engagement initiatives


Cup Collective: The Cup Collective, a unique industrial-scale paper cup recycling focused European partnership program was launched in Brussels, Belgium, in 2022 in collaboration with Stora Enso. In 2023 the initiative extended its operations to Ireland and launched across various locations in Dublin, Ireland. The Cup Collective achieved cup recycling rates of up to 19,4 % in less than a month.

The launch in Dublin received support from key industry players demonstrating a sector-wide commitment to sustainability. The project also serves as a communication hub, sharing system designs, expertise, and best practices. The Cup Collective aims to create a movement for sustainable paper cup recycling, starting one cup at a time, and continues to explore opportunities to expand in other markets.

Read more about the Cup Collective


Huhtamaki and Sporting Kansas City partnership:

Huhtamaki and Sporting Kansas City (SKC), a US Major League Soccer (MLS) club, announced a new partnership in March 2023 naming Huhtamaki as the club’s official sustainable packaging provider. The partnership is centered around a shared commitment to champion sustainability, reduce the environmental footprint, and enhance the fan experience at Children’s Mercy Park. The stadium took into use Huhtamaki’s innovative compostable and recyclable foodservice packaging to enable them to reach their goal of zero waste by 2027. 

Read more about the partnership


From cup to compost – and back to the loop:

We are proud to supply PLA-based paper cups to top café brands in India that are certified as industrial compostable. In line with our commitment to sustainability, we have taken the responsibility to collect these used cups from cafés and stores after consumer use, transport them to a composting facility and compost them. The resulting compost will be tested for safety and used in tree plantations, creating a circular loop in the manufacturing value chain.

This innovative project is currently in its pilot phase and is being implemented in partnership with a customer in the National Capital Region of India. The goal is to expand this initiative to more customers and geographies soon, as part of Huhtamaki's commitment to promoting sustainability and driving the circular economy.


Addressing stakeholder concerns

Our stakeholders continue to be concerned by the impact of plastic waste on the environment and are also increasingly seeking low carbon solutions. Huhtamaki continues to support plastic substitution, plastic reduction and solutions that increase the circularity of packaging, including the recycling of used packaging to enable the re-use of materials. On concrete example of plastic reduction is our blueloop mono-material solution that uniquely combines the power of 3: protection, recyclability and affordability in paper, PE and PP Retort products. The material is fully recyclable with its simple structure, it does not compromise on protecting food keeping content hygienic and save while being affordable and globally available. Read more about our blueloop range of products.

We work with stakeholders and policymakers to drive a better understanding of the essential nature of food packaging and how it plays a crucial role within food systems in delivering safe, hygienic, affordable, accessible and durable food around the world.