Mondi, a global leader in packaging and paper, opened the Group’s first recycling laboratory at its Frantschach mill in Austria to test the recyclability of paper and paper-based packaging using non-paper components such as coatings.
Conducting recycling tests in-house speeds up the process for developing sustainable packaging. While paper packaging offers many sustainability benefits, it also has certain barrier functionality limitations for products like perishable food. To enhance its functionality, non-paper components such as barrier coatings may need to be added, which in turn can impact recyclability.
The data collected at the laboratory can be used to improve existing products and provide reliable information about their environmental impact. Mondi will also use the results to determine how the design of new packaging can be improved as well as how best to improve the circularity of [our] material flows.
The tests are carried out on various paper and paper-based packaging products developed by Mondi and can determine whether the packaging can be efficiently recycled. The laboratory works in a similar way to industrial recycling facilities, but on a smaller scale. Results generated provide concrete evidence that the material can be recycled.
Elisabeth Schwaiger, Head of R&D and IP Flexible Packaging, Mondi says: “The ability to provide our customers with information on the recyclability of our products will be a key enabler in our efforts to develop more sustainable solutions and enhance our value proposition for customers. Currently, 78% of Mondi’s group wide portfolio is already either reusable, recyclable or compostable. This recycling lab enables us to move closer to our MAP2030 goals of making 100% of our products fulfil these requirements by 2025.”