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A More Sustainable Cigarette Pack

The foil and paper laminate historically used in cigarette packs usually ends up in a landfill, since there is no practical method for recycling it. To increase the recyclability of cigarette packaging, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company (SFNTC) eliminated the foil pack liner in all styles and replaced it with a more environmentally friendly paper inner liner. The paper inner liner allows for the entire package, apart from the overwrap, to be recycled. Additionally, the packaging paper is made from trees grown in North America under certified sustainable forestry programs.

The removal of foil not only increases recyclability, it also removes a non-renewable resource, aluminum, from the SFNTC supply chain. Incorporating a paper inner liner into just 53 cigarette packs saves the amount of aluminum in a standard 12-ounce can of soda.

While researching innovative ways to reduce the environmental waste associated with cigarette packaging, SFNTC learned the pack overwrap, not the foil, most contributes to product freshness and taste. This journey toward a paper inner liner was not easy, and included finding appropriate and sustainable paper, customizing machinery, as well as testing product freshness over time. But when the reward is a “greener” planet, it is worth it.