Packaging firm Mondi has opened its 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.
According to the group, conducting recycling tests in-house will speed up the process of developing sustainable packaging.
Paper packaging offers several sustainability benefits, but also has certain barrier functionality limitations for products like perishable food.
To improve its functionality, non-paper components such as barrier coatings are often added, which can impact recyclability.
The data collected at the laboratory can be used to enhance existing products and provide reliable information about their environmental impact, the company noted.
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 its production process.
Developing Sustainable Solutions
The tests are carried out on different paper and paper-based packaging products created by Mondi and will determine whether the packaging can be efficiently recycled.
The lab is similar to industrial recycling facilities, but on a smaller scale, the company added.
Elisabeth Schwaiger, head of R&D and IP flexible packaging at Mondi, said, "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."