EUROPE – European association representing the paper industry, Cepi has updated its European test method for paper recyclability to ensure all paper packaging is recyclable by 2025.

The company claims to have collaborated with others across the paper value chain, especially members of the cross-industry alliance 4evergreen, to develop the method, which is thought to estimate the recyclability of a paper product in an ‘ideal’ scenario.

4evergreen is an alliance bringing together the entire fiber-based packaging value chain, including several global blue-chip companies.

The association reportedly does so by recreating the processes taking place at industrial-scale paper recycling mills in laboratory conditions.

According to Cepi, its efforts contribute towards an end goal of making all paper packaging recyclable by 2025 and achieving a 90% recycling rate by 2030.

The updated Cepi harmonized recyclability test method offers a solid basis for this work and allows paper products across Europe to be tested for their recyclability in identical conditions.

The testing method allows for emulating in laboratory conditions the processes taking place at an industrial scale in paper recycling mills.

Its new annexes were developed through intensive work provided by companies involved in 4evergreen. The workstream established a ‘reality check’ of the method and informed the efforts of testing institutes.

The three new technical annexes include a detailed work description of the test method, a lab report template and a ‘decision tree’ for assessing visual impurities.

In the near future, 4evergreen is set to release a ‘recyclability evaluation protocol’ to provide packaging developers with ‘pass through’ criteria in conjunction with the testing method.

This will further support the industry in producing fiber-based packaging compatible with a low-carbon, climate-neutral society.

“To optimize recycling, product design is just as important as the final collection and processing after usage,” says Jori Ringman, Director General at Cepi.

“This is why one needs to be able to involve all value chain actors in the effort of improving recyclability. We hope that this work will support the EU’s transition to a resilient, circular economy.”

Hans Wortman, Chair of the 4evergreen alliance, added: “The method developed together by the actors gathered by Cepi and 4evergreen provides a comprehensive toolkit to boost recyclability validation across Europe in a harmonized way.”

Cepi’s developments coincide with Nestlé’s decision to repackage its Quality Street line in paper packaging in the coming year.

Cepi has also criticized the EU for its current legislation regarding carbon emissions, presenting a position paper calling for reform in favor of the paper and pulp industry.

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