This week, the wood fibre-based packaging alliance 4evergreen held its online launch event entitled “Perfecting circularity with fibrebased packaging”.

The launch event included a panel debate with industry leaders from Stora Enso (Finland), Huhtamaki (Finland), Mars (US), Nestlé (Switzerland) and Smurfit Kappa (Ireland). It highlighted the alliance’s vision to advance circularity of fibre-based packaging further and introduced the sector’s existing circular and sustainable best practices. By following a holistic approach and adapting innovative solutions, 4evergreen aims to increase the recycling rates of fibre-based packaging to 90% by 2030.

Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, welcomed the initiative of the fibre-based packaging industry: “The mission of 4evergreen is clearly in line with the thinking of the European Commission and our objectives for a circular low-carbon future. The Circular Economy can put Europe back on its feet, and packaging is an important part of the new Circular Economy Action plan, it commits to ensuring that less packaging waste is generated overall and that all packaging is reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way in 2030.”

Susanne Haase, programme director of 4evergreen, introduced the alliance’s vision and mission and highlighted the solid achievements of the industry: “Fibre-based packaging is the most collected and recycled packaging material in Europe. Already today, we exceed the targets set for us by European legislation – But being good should not stop us from getting better.” “We will support the fibre-based industry value chain contribution to a climate neutral society by offering alternative packaging formats made of circular and renewable materials,” stated Annica Bresky, President and CEO of Stora Enso. Tony Smurfit, CEO of Smurfit Kappa, added: “I am convinced that our creativity for adopting innovative solutions and our commitment to the shared vision of perfecting circularity for all fibre-based packaging will make the alliance a great success.”

As highlighted by key brands panellists from Mars and Nestlé, the alliance aims to further optimise and promote its circularity, climate and environmental impact by focusing on improving the current circular performance of packaging used for household and on-the-go products. 4evergreen will focus on the following activities:

• Develop design for circularity guidelines for fibre-based packaging;

• Establish industry-wide recyclability evaluation protocol for fibre-basedpackaging;

• Publish guidelines for improved collection and sorting of fibre-based packagingin Europe;

• Drive innovations in areas increasing circularity of fibre-based packaging.