FEDEMCO, the Spanish federation for wood packaging and its components, has revealed a European identification seal of 100% recyclability for wood packaging – hoping to encourage manufacturers to reduce waste and design for recycling.

Unveiled at the International Fruit Attraction fair, the ECOWOOX certification mark is based on UNE standards and stems from a private initiative driven by FEDEMCO. It complies with Spanish legislation and is designed to meet upcoming regulations on eco-design, recyclability, and economic valorization across Europe.

Packaging that receives the ECOWOOX seal is then certified as being made entirely from recyclable components and with the least amount of material possible without impacting its function, thus maximizing raw materials savings. As such, it hopes to incentivize a reduction in waste generation alongside efforts to make wooden packaging completely recyclable.

FEDEMCO believes that wood is the most sustainable material in the packaging space. Citing its existing presence in nature, its recyclability, and its biodegradability, the federation asserts that wood is a carbon negative material, as sustainably run forests apparently absorb more CO2 than is emitted during the manufacturing process.

“Wood packaging is the most sustainable on the market,” states Raquel Aguado, director of FEDEMCO. “This fact is still unknown to many companies and most consumers today.

“With ECOWOOX, we aim to highlight the complete recyclability of our wood packaging. On one hand, we want to provide consumers with a tool to recognize these packages and make responsible consumption choices. On the other hand, we want sustainability-focused companies to use this certification as a differentiating element for their packaging.”

Aguado also credits a grant from the Generalitat Valenciana for the progress that the ECOWOOX certification process is making.

“We are very proud of the excellent reception that ECOWOOX is currently receiving among our associated Spanish wood packaging manufacturers,” she says. “Three companies have already completed the certification process, and more than a dozen companies are in an advanced stage of the process.

“Without a doubt, this seal addresses a market need, both in Spain and internationally. Several international companies have shown interest in obtaining certification, and our goal is for this initiative to grow globally.”

Spain is described by FEDEMCO as ‘the European leader’ in producing and exporting wooden packaging, largely for the fruit and vegetable markets. The sector claims to offer over 10,000 jobs across the country.

The Confederation of Paper Industries also wants to help fibre-based packaging producers gauge the recyclability of their designs in line with upcoming legislation with Papercycle, its online recyclability assessment and certification tool.

In other news, Wood Resources International reports that imports of wood chips and logs to Finland from Russia fell from an all-time high in 2020 to zero in the third quarter of 2022.

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