Mondi opened the 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.
Conducting recycling tests in-house speeds up the process for developing sustainable packaging, said the company. 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, said Mondi.
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 its 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.