Billerud’s European packaging material portfolio is the first to be third-party assessed as 100% recyclable, according to EU legislation proposed for 2030. This reinforces Billerud as a world leader in sustainable packaging.
No.1 for recyclability
The standards proposed by the coming Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) are high, but Billerud has been meeting high standards for many years. This is why we reached the goal seven years in advance and are the first in the world to do so.
The criteria used in the PTS assessment of recyclability are:
A broad perspective on sustainability
Billerud not only works hard with recyclability. We also take pride in our wider role as a pioneer of sustainability. We constantly try to reduce our environmental impact. One of many improvements is the diminishing use of fossil fuels in our worldwide operations.
Billerud’s European production is already 98% fossil free. Our goal now is to make production completely fossil free. The removal of fossil fuels severely reduces the environmental impact of paper production and aligns with the global push towards using renewable energy sources. One of the key elements for a fossil-free production is a stable and efficient production. This demands putting safety first.
All paper production uses a lot of energy. Most of this energy is generated in the pulp process, where a lot of waste heat is released. We mainly use this excess heat in our production, but it also provides local communities with heating. This use of waste heat in our own production has reduced our carbon footprint and saved energy. In our European operations, we generate 43% of our electricity internally. All electricity, produced in-house or purchased, is covered by fossil-free energy certificates. We work continuously to increase the overall energy efficiency of our facilities and to find new ways to further increase the amount of energy produced from sustainable, fossil-free sources.
Using the railway, recovering chemicals
In 2022, 70% of the outgoing land transports from our European mills travelled by rail. Together with carriers, we are pushing for the transition to a fossil-free fleet. We will continue to actively choose the mode of transport and monitor developments in technology and fuel, railway expansion and the electrification of roads.
The chemicals used to release the fibers from the wood are recovered and reused in a cyclical process. Wood residues after fiber extension are used for energy.
The PTS method
The recyclability analysis is carried out in accordance with the PTS method PTS-RH 021:2012 (Draft Oct 2019). This method is also called, ”Identification of the recyclability of paper and board packages and of graphic print products”.
Some facts about the criteria:
This refers to the mass percentage of the constituents not usable in papermaking. This is based on the removed-dry non-paper constituents and reject of nondefibrated fiber constituents after 0.7-mm hole-plate fractionation. This criterion and the related yield in recyclable fiber is evaluated on the following basis:
This may include both non-disintegrated fiber agglomerates, coating and adhesive particles, as well as any non-paper constituents such as flat particles from coatings and laminations. Disintegratability is rated by means of the mass percentage of the reject and additionally described in qualitative terms.
This percentage is either based on the manufacturer’s statements or is estimated. For estimates, the following percentages and assessments are taken into account:
- Non-paper constituents eliminated by manual dry removal during specimen preparation, such as closures, grips, windows etc.
- Polymer and other non-paper coatings, laminations and liners that can be evaluated based on the reject content after Brecht-Holl fractionation and can be detected during a visual inspection of the accept sheets after Haindl screening. Ink particles and adhesive applications are not included.
This percentage is the total of the percentage of the reject from Brecht-Holl fractionation and of the percentage of removed-dry non-paper constituents.
This value results from the mass of initial material less the mass of total reject. It is based on the oven-dry total mass of the initial material.
Purity of the furnish mass percentage usable in papermaking. An assessment of potential impacts on circuit waters or effluents is not part of this method. This criterion is evaluated on the following basis:
Undisturbed sheet formation test
This is assessed on the basis of the following two tests:
- Sheet adhesion test on handsheets made of the obtained stock (both total stock and accept from screening) to detect adhesive impurities (stickies) caused by e.g. Glued side wall and bottom panels, Coating binders, Polymer and other non-paper coatings, laminations and liners, Adhesive labels and tapes and Adhesive contaminants (stickies) in paper and board made of recycled fiber.
- Visual inspection for optical inhomogeneities such as:
• Dirt specks due to ink, coating, metal, paint, glue etc.
• Transparent or white spots or flaws due to stickies, plastic particles, coating particles, etc.
• Through-coloured conspicuous fibers and significant stain of the handsheet due to colorants.