ECMA statement on recyclability – ‘Cartons are Fully Recyclable’

Read so far

ECMA statement on recyclability – ‘Cartons are Fully Recyclable’

July 10, 2019 - 18:17
Posted in:

THE HAGUE, July 8, 2019 (Press Release) -The European Carton Makers Association (ECMA) has published a statement regarding the recyclability of paperboard folding cartons under the law applicable in Europe; ECMA has granted PPC permission to post a link to that statement, foundhere.

Under applicable U.S. law, recycling claims are much more regulated, and a generic “recyclable” claim for all paperboard cartons would rarely be acceptable. For example, if a product is not fully recyclable, consumers must be told what components or percentage is recyclable; consumers must also be advised if recycling facilities for the product are not universally available. PPC is providing access to theECMA statementfor informational purposes only. Highlights include:

The Recyclability of Folding Cartons

With the adoption of the Circular Economy Package in mid-2018 and the discussions related to the development of the soon to be adopted Single Use Plastics Directive, the recyclability of packaging has come to the forefront of public debate...

The Role of Packaging
Packaging is essential to an efficient supply chain for consumer products. It has three roles in protecting, presenting and preserving products to minimize waste at each stage of the production and delivery process…

Our Contribution to the Circular Economy

100% of the cartonboard fibres used to produce folding cartons are obtained from renewable, non-fossil raw materials (wood fibres and cellulose and/or processed recovered paper)

Functional Barriers

Some products require specific barrier requirements to be incorporated into the packaging design to further protect the product which cannot be provided by cartonboard alone; for example, to provide a moisture barrier or prevent migration of gases...

Clear Message to the General Public: Cartons are Fully Recyclable

Cartonboard has a proven reputation for being a sustainable and fully recyclable material. The general public, who are largely already educated that cartonboard is fully recyclable, should also know that cartonboard can, and should be, placed into existing recycling collection systems

Coated Cartons are Valuable Resources

Coated cartons should not be considered a ‘composite’ material. When laminated or extruded coated board combinations are used, these combinations of packaging materials can be effectively separated in the recycling process, with the result that paper fibres are recovered and, to a large extent, recycled into new materials

Why We Need to Improve Collection and Recycling

The contamination of the recovered paper flow can come from various sources and should, in general, be limited as far as possible. In certain countries the separate collection of paper and board from other materials is still not fully implemented

This overview of facts represents the position of the European folding carton industry and should be a basis for further deliberation and action around sustainability and recycling. 

About ECMA

ECMA, the European Carton Makers Association, is the international network of folding carton organisations. ECMA represents around 500 carton producers across Europe who account for around 70% of the total carton market volume in Europe, and employ a workforce of about 50,000 people.

Click here to read ECMA’s full statement on folding carton sustainability.