Sustainability

Our nicotine pouches from ZYN are pure pleasure products. In order for us to continue to enjoy our nicotine pouches in the future, we work hard to reduce our negative impact on the climate. We are aware of the impact our products have on the climate and want to take our responsibility. Our goal is to reduce all climate impact from our entire operations by 41 percent by 2030.

On this page, you can read more about our first step to reduce our packaging's part of the climate footprint of Swedish Match Europe Division. This is done through a so-called mass balance method that we tell about on the cans of ZYN.

What does mass balance mean?

Our packaging accounted for 45 percent of the climate footprint of the Swedish Match Europe Division in 2021. As a first step towards reducing it, we are starting to phase out fossil plastic based on crude oil and replacing it with bio-based plastic. We are doing this by applying the mass balance method, which we describe on the cans used for ZYN. You can read more about how this works below.

Bio-based raw material is mixed with fossil-based material

Most of the cans we use for snus and nicotine-free products are made of plastic, which is historically based on crude oil. When we now start to use the mass balance method, it means that we ensure that a certain amount of bio-based material is in the system, corresponding to the plastic needed to manufacture the cans and labels for the ZYN trademark.

The bio-based material is mixed with fossil material in the production of plastic (granulate), and this plastic granulate is then delivered to the plants that manufacture our packaging. Since the supplier delivers plastic to a variety of industries, the content will vary and some of our cans will contain more bio-based material while others will contain only a fraction or possibly none at all.

But through licensing, we can communicate our undertaking and the amount of bio-based material we have purchased for the ZYN cans.

Bio-based plastic reduces our climate footprint

The mass balance method provides us with an opportunity to communicate our undertaking on the ZYN cans, and to explain that they consist to 90 percent of bio-based plastic, even though the can you are holding in your hand may not. The fact that the cans do not consist of 100-percent bio-based plastic is because other substances are added as well as the plastic, such as plasticizers, during manufacturing.

Since the plastic now consists of recycled resources rather than crude oil, the climate footprint of the packaging from our brand ZYN, is reduced by 100 percent.

The calculation is based on the packaging’s entire lifecycle, from the production of raw materials to packaging waste management, in accordance with the ISO 14040 standard. Such a scientific calculation is called a life-cycle analysis, whereby the foremost result is known as “global warming potential,” which indicate the packaging’s climate footprint. To ensure that the analysis is conducted correctly, it is critically checked and thus third-party verified.

The labels on ZYN are also made of plastic and are included in the mass balance method. When they are empty, the ZYN cans, just like all other cans, should continue to be disposed of as plastic packaging.

Traceability secured by ISCC

To guarantee that the investment we are making is sustainable and results in an increase in the bio-based proportion in relation to the fossil-based proportion in the system, it is important that the material is certified. We have chosen to invest in material that is certified by ISCC (International Sustainability and Carbon Certification).

ISCC certification ensures that every player that handles the material – from the source to us – fulfills their sustainability and traceability criteria. As the final player in the chain leading up to the market, we have ISCC-certified the ZYN trademark, thus closing the traceability circle.

FAQ

The most common questions and answers about the mass balance method and our work with bio-based plastics.

  • How can the climate footprint be reduced by 100 percent when the can only consists of 90 percent bio-based plastic?
    The packaging’s climate footprint is scientifically calculated through a third-party verified life-cycle analysis in accordance with ISO 14040. The climate footprint is based on the following value: “GWP 100 - kg CO2e.” This value takes into account the quantity of greenhouse gases and the potential this has to heat the atmosphere over a hundred years.

    Because the bio-based quantity of 90 percent of the packaging has a very low climate footprint (or more precisely has a negative climate footprint, which is actually the opposite to warming), the total value (GWP 100 – kg CO2e) is less than 0. The climate footprint of the packaging is thus reduced by 100 percent.

  • What does bio-based plastic consist of?
    What the bio-based plastic consists of can vary over time, but it is always made either of recycled or renewable resources. When mass balance was introduced, in the winter of 2021, the bio-based material used in the packaging consisted of PFAD (Palm Fatty Acid Distillate) and the material for the labels was tall oil or used frying oil.

    The material is either residue from refineries or waste from the food industry, which comes from sources under controlled forms. The material originates from the natural plant kingdom but is classified as “recycled resources.”

  • Why are you using bio-based plastic rather than recycled plastic?
    According to the Swedish Food Act, recycled plastic in packaging that comes into direct contact with food may only be used if it fulfills EU requirements, like the recycling of PET bottles does. The act also applies to snus and nicotine products. Since these recycling systems are limited to date, and because available technology is not sufficiently developed or widespread, the supply of recycled plastic that fulfills EU requirements is minimal.

  • Why use the mass balance method rather than starting to manufacture all packaging from bio-material?
    Without the mass balance method, switching the material in our packaging to bio-based plastic would have required us to replace the machinery that currently manufactures our cans. This is a time-consuming and costly process. But by choosing ISCC-certified material that is bio-based through the mass balance method, we enable a more rapid transition and can ensure more sustainable packaging that reduces our climate footprint.

  • Why isn’t the mass balance method being introduced for all of your cans?
    Unfortunately, the transition takes time. Although the mass balance method provides us with an opportunity to transition quickly, a lot of other factors must be right at the same time. By right, we mean, for example, that the supply of mass-balanced bio-material must be secured, that the communication on each can must be correct and that the traceability of the material can be fully guaranteed. For this reason, the transition will occur in stages, but it is being accelerated as a result of the mass balance method.
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