Mondi, a multinational paper and packaging group, has opened its first recycling lab at its Frantschach mill in Austria to test the recyclability of paper-based and paper packaging utilizing non-paper elements such as coatings.
Conducting in-house recycling tests speeds up the developing process of sustainable packaging. Paper packaging has multiple sustainability advantages, but it has barrier functionality limitations for items such as perishable food.
To improve its functionality, non-paper elements such as barrier coatings would have to be included, which may affect its recyclability.
The recyclability test
The data collected at the lab, which determines how the packaging will hold up in a wide-scale recycling mill, can be used to improve the existing products and offer reliable information about their environmental effect.
Mondi will use the results to determine how to enhance the design of the latest packaging as well as to improve the circularity of the material flows.
All tests are performed on multiple paper-based and paper packaging created by Mondi. They can determine whether the packaging can be recycled efficiently.
The lab works like an industrial recycling facility but on a small scale. The results offer concrete evidence that the item is recyclable.
Mondi’s head of R&D and IP flexible packaging, Elisabeth Schwaiger, said the potential of providing information on the recyclability of products will be a key enabler in the efforts to develop more sustainable solutions and improve the value proposition for their clients.
At present, Mondi Group’s 78% broad portfolio is either already recyclable, reusable, or compostable. This particular recycling lab enables the team to move closer to their MAP2030 objectives of creating 100% of items to fulfill these needs within 2025, Schwaiger said.
Recycling paper is beneficial for the ecology and humans. It reduces the cutting down of trees, conserves natural resources, and is cheaper than trash-disposal services.
Landfills can be spared and air pollution reduced due to incineration if products are recycled. Businesses can promote a positive community and brand image with a recycling program.
Mondi is all set to promote paper recyclability on a grand scale. The lab will test the recyclability of paper products that will benefit the earth and people.