No.1 for recyclability

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.

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.

Contact us and we will help you find a solution that aligns with your sustainability goals, customized with tomorrow in mind. 

The criteria used in the PTS assessment of recyclability are:


The recycled paper must be able to dissolve completely in water during the repulping process.

Undisturbed sheet formation

The recycled pulp has to be pure and free from stickies and optical inhomogenities.


It must be possible to clean stains and ink from the recycled pulp.

Third-party PTS testing

To ensure our papers already meet the proposed recycling requirements of 2030, Billerud used a third-party assessor: PTS (Papiertechnishce Stiftung). For decades, this German institution has gained a reputation for its meticulous method of testing*.

*The prevalent testing method as of autumn 2023.

The EU legislation proposed for 2030

According to the proposed Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR), from 2030, all packaging used in the European market must be reusable, recyclable or compostable. The PPWR is part of the comprehensive European Green Deal of 2019, which aims to make the EU the world’s first climate-neutral continent by 2050.

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 97% 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 up to 40% 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

See Also


How to give an energy bar a sustainability boost

Moonvalley didn’t think plastic flow wrap was in line the company’s sustainability ethos. We helped them switch to paper. Learn more

Good things come in good packaging

Ridestore wanted more sustainable packaging. The online retailer has now switched to paper and cut its CO2 emissions. Learn more

Oatly - Oat milk success

We helped the Swedish oat milk success to reduce the CO2 emissions of their secondary packaging by a stunning 50%. Learn more