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4evergreen alliance launch: striving for full circularity of fibrebased packaging by 2030


25 Nov 2020


Sustainable Dev.

Today the wood fibre-based packaging alliance 4evergreen held its launch event entitled “Perfecting circularity with fibre-based packaging”. The online 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 further advance circularity of fibre-based packaging 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.

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.”

Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, welcomed the initiative of the fibre-based packaging industry via a dedicated video address: “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.”

“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, CEO of Stora Enso.

Kerstin Jorna, Director General at the European Commission department for Internalmarket, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs commented that DG GROW is now looking at how each of the 14 industrial ecosystems that they have identified – also encompassing the fibre-based packaging sector – can contribute to the 55% emission reduction target, and what are the investment needs related to the contribution to the climate target.

Tony Smurfit, CEO of Smurfit Kappa, concluded: “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-based packaging;
  • Publish guidelines for improved collection and sorting of fibre-based packaging in Europe;
  • Drive innovations in areas increasing circularity of fibre-based packaging.