Sustainable future of paper-based products: first European guidelines for optimal packaging design
The use of paper for packaging purposes is growing every year, due to its excellent environmental performance but also to the increasing demand related to e-commerce and delivery services. There is a strong expectation from consumers, brands and retailers to have recyclable packaging material. A packaging recycling rate of 85% is already achieved today and the paper value chain continues to improve.
In order to achieve even higher recycling targets while expanding the functionality of paper-based packaging, it is important to start from the design-phase, considering both the intended purpose as well as the end-of-life. The recyclability guidelines - developed by Cepi, CITPA, ACE and FEFCO, – give concrete guidance for designers to make sure functionality goes hand in hand with recyclability.
“Renewable materials, the main component of beverage cartons, are at the heart of Europe’s circular economy,” said Annick Carpentier, Director General of ACE. “We are proud to have contributed to these guidelines that demonstrate that products on the market are recyclable and truly circular and will soon issue the dedicated Guideline on beverage carton recyclability.”
In this context, the new European guidelines intend to become the go-to document to learn more about the implications of certain converting steps on the recyclability of used paper-based packaging. The signatories of the document hope they act as a source of inspiration for innovation and the introduction of new techniques. They are convinced that a widespread awareness among the value chain (including retailers and brand owners) can truly improve the recyclability of products. They are also convinced the guidelines will help meet national protocols and requirements and further close the circularity of our industry.
You can download a copy of the guidelines here.
ACE provides a European platform for beverage carton manufacturers and their paperboard suppliers to benchmark and profile cartons as renewable, recyclable and low carbon packaging solutions. Engaging with stakeholders and partners seeking high environmental stewardship, it contributes expertise to EU policy, legislation and standard‐setting.
ACE members include beverage carton producers Tetra Pak, SIG Combibloc and Elopak; who develop, manufacture and market systems for the packaging and distribution of food, and produce packaging material at 20 plants in Europe. Most of the paperboard used by ACE members in beverage cartons in Europe is produced by Stora Enso in Skoghall (Sweden), Imatra (Finland), and BillerudKorsnäs in Gävle and Frövi (Sweden), who are also members of ACE.
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