The path of packaging through the circular economy

Many players affect and contribute to recycling

Forest-based products are all part of a circular ecocycle that involves several players in society. Here is the path of paper packaging.

Fresh fibres are delivered as a raw material from forestry.

  1. The pulp and paper mill makes the packaging material from fresh and/or recycled fibre.
  2. The brand owner decides what the packaging should look like and what functions it should have.
  3. In the conversion and printing processes, ink, sticky labels and other things are added to the packaging material. In this, both the brand owner and the printer have a great responsibility to design the product so that it can easily be recycled and thereby retain its high fibre quality.
  4. The consumer uses the packaging, and then plays a crucial part in whether the paperboard is recycled and used to make new materials. If the paperboard is discarded in household waste instead of at a recycling station, it becomes bioenergy. If it is put in recycling, it is 80 per cent likely to be used for a new material.
  5. The packaging is first collected and then sent to a paper recycling mill from the recycling stations. Here strong, reusable fibres are separated from spent ones. A wood fibre can be reused 7 times on average.
  6. Recycled fibre is used to make new materials.
  7. The spent fibre is used as bioenergy and becomes part of a new ecocycle.