‘Game-changer’ European 4evergreen alliance begins in 2020

THE CONFEDERATION OF EUROPEAN Paper Industries (CEPI) has announced a new alliance called 4evergreen, which is aimed at boosting the contribution of fibre-based packaging in a circular and sustainable economy that minimizes climate and environmental impact. The three-year alliance, which kicked off in January 2020, has drawn in paper product industry members from throughout Europe in a groundswell the association is calling a “system-wide shift”.

“Fibre-based packaging can be a game-changer for material substitution”, says Eija Hietavuo, chairwoman of 4evergreen and senior vice president of sustainability for Stora Enso Consumer Board. “Our common goal is to deliver a holistic approach to optimize the sustainability and circularity of the fibre-based packaging’s life cycle.”

The alliance will increase awareness about the benefits of fibre-based packaging materials, advocate for European Union legislation supporting product design for recyclability and call for the development of optimized collection systems and appropriate recycling infrastructures.

The rise of environmental awareness and consumer concerns, as well as the increase of packaging focused regulation (such as the Single Use Plastics Directive) have helped companies to accelerate the development of alternative packaging materials including fibre-based packaging with a view to helping consumers make more climate-friendly choices.

Jori Ringman, director general at CEPI, said: “Our industry already has a strong track record in environmental performance and recycling, but our ambition is higher. We are driving a system-wide shift to transition to the next level of circularity and climate resilience. 4evergreen will be the place for the whole industry value chain to co-create and collaborate for a change.”

4evergreen was created as a forum to engage and connect industry members from across the fibre-based packaging value chain, from paper and board producers to packaging converters, brand-owners and owners and retailers, technology and material suppliers, waste sorters and collectors. The alliance is the considered the first of its kind that brings together members across the entire valuechain to gaining deeper insight into sustainable sourcing, material design, converting, recycling, reuse and waste management for fibre-based packaging.

The first 4evergreen alliance members include Nestlé, Danone, Mars, Stora Enso, Smurfit Kappa, Sappi, Metsä Board, UPM, Mayr-Melnhof Group, Reno de Medici, Mondi, Burgo, Kotkamills, DS Smith, Heinzel Group, Ahlstrom Munksjö, International Paper, BillerudKorsnäs, Huhtamäki, SEDA, SIG Combibloc, Tetra Pak, Elopak, Walki, Schur Group, Cardbox Packaging, Firstan Ltd., Westrock, Leonhard Kurz Stiftung & Co. KG, Graphic Packaging International, AR Packaging, Baumer hhs GmbH, Van Genechten Packaging Group, Sonoco, VTT. Mondi, a global leader in innovation and sustainable packaging and paper solutions, joined the group in December and has made a commitment to collaborate and share expertise to improve design and materials as well as packaging use, disposal, recycling and recovery of fibrebased solution to meet the needs of users. Mondi already works closely with a number of stakeholders including the WWF, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, the Forest Solutions Group as well as the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s “Plastics Economy Initia tive”.

Metsä Board, part of Metsä Group, is one of the founding members of the 4evergreen. “Extensive, global collaboration is essential in promoting circular economy and combating climate change. Together we can utilize the full potential of fibre-based packaging and provide solutions based on renewable raw materials for packaging of the future,” says Mika Joukio, CEO of Metsä Board.

CEPI www.cepi.org

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