For a year now, Voith has been active as a leading technology partner in the cross-sector industrial alliance 4evergreen.
The initiative, hosted by CEPI, is committed to a 90% recycling rate of fibre-based packaging by 2030. Optimal recycling of fibres and the establishment of a circular economy are considered important levers for more sustainable paper production. For example, fibre recycling can bind CO2, conserve resources and save costs. New innovations are needed to further increase the recycling rate. To this end, Voith is involved in the ‘Innovation’ project group of the 4evergreen alliance. In this group, experts from Voith contribute their experience from the Fibre Technology Center (FTC) for an optimal recycling process. By improving aggregates, processes and settings, it should be possible to break down even materials that are difficult to recycle and maximise fibre yield.
“Sustainability is a key fundamental pillar at Voith. Enabling a 90% recycling rate is therefore part of our sustainability program ‘Papermaking for Life,’” says Bernd Güldenberg, Senior Vice President Research & Development, Voith Paper. “We are pleased to contribute our many years of experience to the 4evergreen alliance. In this way, we are helping to expand the range of applications for fibre-based packaging and at the same time further increase the recycling rate. As part of the initiative, we are working with other members on sustainable and recyclable packaging papers.”
In the first step, Voith’s specialists examined more than 10 different barrier papers in the laboratory, which were compiled by the 4evergreen members. The results are currently being evaluated. Subsequently, Voith will develop concepts in targeted trials to further optimise the recovered paper preparation systems of the 4evergreen members.
Güldenberg concludes, “The new papers should have all the desired functions, such as food protection. At the same time, the papers should also be fully recyclable, ensuring the recycling and reuse of fibres, residual materials and coating materials thanks to new technologies.”