Great products deserve great packaging – that was the guiding mindset when Rapala VMC started overhauling its packaging design. And it’s not only the environment that’s grateful: the new plastic-free design allows anglers a full hands-on contact with the products.
Following the road map laid out in its 2020 sustainability strategy, Rapala VMC is taking strides in reshaping the way fishing tackle packaging is designed. Now, with products such as the Flash-X lures, Marttiini knives, and Sufix’s Recycline Monofilament sold in packaging made from completely biodegradable cardboard, the company’s vision of providing environmentally friendly packaging is becoming a reality across categories.
“Not all fishing tackle products require plastic packaging – and getting rid of the excess materials is an easy way to reduce our carbon footprint. And some products don’t even need packaging at all. For instance, when buying Marttiini knives, the customer gets to decide whether they want the product packed or not,” explains Taneli Väisänen, Rapala VMC’s Research and Sustainability Manager.
“When it’s necessary to use plastic – like in Dynamite Baits’ products, for example – we’ve shifted to using recyclable plastics, and aim to further develop the packaging into a more ecological direction. We believe the markets are ready to rethink the way packaging is done. For us, this is one of the first steps towards our goal of having all our lures in plastic-free packaging, product design permitting.”
For Rapala, the first step in plastic-free packaging was the 2021 launch of the three spoons Nauvo, Harmaja, and Kallan (below) – a decision guided by the fact that spoons come with only one needle-sharp treble hook. Hard baits, however, are a completely different breed. But, with the new Flash-X lures (main image), the brand succeeded in presenting the lures in packaging that’s both plastic-free and safe. And, according to Janne Mahlamäki, the company’s General Manager of North Europe, the new design also adds a whole new customer-centric feature to the products.
“With our new packaging design, the customer gets to actually see and touch the product before making the purchase. There’s no plastic to obscure the life-like colors or prevent anglers from feeling the detailed textures of the lures,” Mahlamäki explains. While the touch-and-feel aspect provides a literal touchpoint for anglers looking for their new favourite lure, Mahlamäki points out a feature beneficial to some retailers as well.
“Large chain stores are required to report their annual waste production – and pay fees, accordingly. If you belong to that group of retailers, having packaging made entirely from cardboard makes that process much simpler and cost-effective. We’re proud to say the new packaging design doesn’t just cover the bases our previous packaging did. Instead, it throws in a handful of valuable benefits to make the deal even better!”