AUSTRIA – Paper and packaging company Mondi has opened its first in-house recycling laboratory at its mill in Frantschach, Austria.

According to Mondi, the new recycling laboratory will test the recyclability of paper and paper-based packaging components using non-paper components such as coatings.

While paper packaging offers sustainability benefits, Mondi says it has some barrier functionality limits for products such as perishable food.

To enhance functionality, non-paper components such as barrier coatings can be added, which in turn can impact recyclability.

The company says conducting recycling tests in-house speeds up the process for developing sustainable packaging.

Data collected in the laboratory can be used to improve the company’s existing products and provide information about their environmental impact.

Mondi also plans to use the results from its laboratory to determine how the design of new packaging can be improved, as well as how to improve the circularity of material flows.

The laboratory will also conduct tests on various paper and paper-based packaging products it develops and will determine whether the packaging can be efficiently recycled.

The company says its laboratory will work in a similar way to industrial recycling facilities but on a smaller scale.

 Results generated from the laboratory will provide the company with evidence as to whether the material can be recycled.

Elisabeth Schwaiger, Head of Research and Development 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.”

She continued: “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 fulfill these requirements by 2025.”

This new investment adds to the company’s efforts to ensure the recyclability of all its products.

Last month, Mondi launched fully recyclable paper packaging for Italian pasta brand Antico Pastificio Umbro in collaboration with Fiorini International.

The new paper bag design with a large window made of transparent, recyclable and biodegradable cellulose allows the end user to see the contents.

Other solutions from Mondi include its partnership with the German machine supplier, Beck Packautomaten, on flexible paper-based packaging that provides protection against water vapor and moisture during the transport of products for online retail.

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