With the growth of E-Commerce there has also been growth in packaging and packaging tapes. While the packaging is typically made of paperboard the packaging tape is typically made of plastic. This creates a challenge in the recycling process as the recyclable paperboard is contaminated with plastic tape. The plastic tape reduces the quality of the recycled fiber and the efficiency of the re-pulping process, and ends up either as landfill or in incineration plants for energy production.
“Tapes are in most cases separated from the paperboard during the first stages of the re-pulping process because of their non-re-pulpable quality”, says Michaël Gouy at Saica Paper Lavyron, France. “While some of our plants can valorize plastic waste into commodity films or energy, in ours, it generally goes into landfill.”
Towards a Circular Economy
It is time for us to transform linear processes into regenerative circular processes. In a circular economy materials are not destroyed at the end of their useful life, but are used to make new products over and over again. One opportunity to improve the circular flow of packaging materials is to replace plastic tapes with fiber-based tapes.
“What we could achieve with the fiber-based tapes in re-pulping would be less waste. It would also improve the overall quality of the fiber material delivered for re-pulping as the amount of rejected material would be smaller,” states Veli Jussila from Lassila & Tikanoja.
Fiber-based tapes are recyclable and packaging tape solutions that can be fully re-pulped are already available. As these solutions contribute to a more circular economy and improve the environmental impact of E-Commerce there is a growing demand for fiber-based tapes from both industry and consumers.
“We are of course eager to get recyclable fiber-based tapes that can be made into new paperboard boxes”, says Michaël Gouy from Saica Paper.
Ahlstrom-Munksjö has developed packaging tape solutions to meet this growing demand and to contribute to a more circular economy and sustainable everyday life. Read more about our fiber-based packaging tapes