3 CHALLENGES WE TACKLE WITH A CIRCULAR APPROACH

A circular approach requires circular design thinking. Within the packaging industry, such thinking is obscured by a misconception that has been playing out for decades: that trees are a sustainable and unlimited resource regardless of how we use and dispose of them. A misconception that has led to ever more packaging of paper-based mixed materials, causing great consequences for our planet.

Protecting our forest: Our forests and the biodiversity they hold are fundamental to secure the recovery of our planet. Not only do they act as natural cleansers locking away emitted carbon, but they are also centres of biodiversity. And the two go together. The more diverse and wilder a forest is, the more carbon it absorbs from the atmosphere.

We are here to do our part, which means changing the path we as an industry are leading packaging. Within the food packaging industry there is a misconception that trees are a sustainable and infinite resource regardless of how we use and dispose of them. They are not.

Ensuring recyclability: Paper or cardboard cannot protect our food without a plastic and/or aluminium coating, which makes the final product a non-recyclable multi-material – in other words waste.

Even so, more and more packaging and consumer goods companies are substituting to paper-based packaging, thinking that this is the most sustainable choice. But fact is, that between 60-80% of the packaging we find in today’s supermarkets are not recyclable (or not labelled).

Designing out waste: Ultimately, the used paper packaging is either downcycled or wasted entirely via incineration, landfill or even worse in our nature.

Preventing measures must be taken at the very first design sta- ge. It is here that we determine what impacts the products will have along the entire life cycle and the value it will be given at the initial stage. Designing without the eventual circulation in mind will leave us with invaluable waste instead of valuable resources.

Our solution: With RE-4 we offer corporations to change their path. A path where no trees are harmed but protected, just as the food we package.

RE-4 is a mono-material packaging substitute that supports a deforestation-free and fully circular supply chain. It reduces the use of finite resources, without relying on paper, while guaranteeing 100% recyclability. Not only does this have a positive mark on the carbon footprint, but also on the costs.

HOW MUCH CAN YOUR COUNTRY SAVE WITH REFOUR?

If most non-circular packaging is replaced with Refour.

41%
CO2 saved every year
52%
Virgin plastic saved every year
Equivalent to

20.397.914

Amount of saved trees

190.051.004 Kg

Kg. of virgin plastic

SUPPORTING AND CONTRIBUTING TO
EU REDUCTION GOALS

A great percentage of household packaging consists of mixed-material structures, making them non-recyclable and thus non-circular. By replacing all non-circular packaging with Refour, made of a fully recyclable mono-material, we come closer to realizing our common EU reduction goals of:

Recycling at least 70% by weight of all packaging waste by 2030 – RE-4 can be recycled as part of the existing municipal waste collection systems.

Limiting the share of municipal waste landfilled to 10% by 2035 – RE-4’s material structure allows it to be mixed with PP from municipal waste without losing its recyclability.