4evergreen Alliance Advances Sustainable Packaging

Discover the latest in effective recycling with 4evergreen's updated Guidance on Fibre-Based Packaging. Separate streams and expert insights for a sustainable future

4evergreen Alliance Advances Sustainable Packaging

The 4evergreen alliance recently updated its "Guidance on Improved Collection and Sorting of Fibre-Based Packaging" to facilitate effective recycling. This enhancement endorses the use of two distinct streams for fibre-based packaging, ensuring proper direction to recycling mills. Initially published in September 2022, the document underwent an extensive upgrade, emphasizing simple referencing and incorporating external stakeholder consultation for the first time.

The alliance emphasizes that the guidance's content now aligns with other 4evergreen tools, aiming to create a comprehensive toolbox with consistent terminology across all stages of the packaging value chain. The new information recommends collecting fibre-based packaging in two separate streams – a 'blue bin' for standard paper, board, and fibre-based packaging, suitable for standard and deinking paper mills, and a 'yellow bin' for specialized paper mills, addressing packaging types like used beverage cartons and fibre-based composite packaging.

Implementing separate household kerbside collection by source aims to enhance consumer recycling participation and improve Europe's recycling system by directing fibre-based packaging to the correct recycling mills. The updated guidance also outlines routes from collection to recycling at dedicated paper and board mills, offering recommendations to enhance the overall collection process.

Anticipated revisions for the coming year include addressing on-the-go packaging for the HORECA sector and conducting a detailed examination of sorting methods. Michel Willems, European business coordinator at Smurfit Kappa Recycling and co-lead of WS3, notes that the streamlined document paves the way for a more accessible and user-friendly resource for fibre-based packaging stakeholders. This step is considered significant in fostering consistency and harmonization in collection systems at local, national, and European levels.

Beyond this, the 4evergreen alliance's toolbox includes the first part of the Recyclability Evaluation Protocol for fibre-based packaging, aimed at standardizing the evaluation and scoring of recyclability at recycled mills. Additional parts covering specialized and deinking mills are currently in progress.

Simultaneously, the alliance has released the second version of its "Circularity by Design Guideline." This guideline provides advice to designers and manufacturers, guiding them in selecting materials and components compatible with both standard and specialized recycling processes. This comprehensive approach encompasses diverse packaging types, including used beverage cartons.


4evergreen - Perfecting circularity together

4evergreen is a cross-industry alliance of over 100 members representing the entire lifecycle of fibre-based packaging – from forests to producers, designers, brand owners and recyclers. Together they share expertise to develop tools and guidelines for an even more sustainable sector. The goal is to reach a 90% recycling rate for fibre-based packaging by 2030.


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Keywords

sustainable packaging , recycling guidance , fibre-based packaging , collection streams , recycling mills

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