Paper-based packaging is one of the most sustainable materials available: it’s recyclable, renewable and has consistently had the highest recycling rate in recent years and, even if it does end up as litter, is still biodegradable.
In fact, paper biodegrades faster than a leaf!
There are many reasons for this:
Paper is consistently the world’s most collected and recyclable material
As the drive to reduce waste gathers momentum, the ease with which paper can be recycled is an increasingly valued attribute. The recycling and collection rate for paper and cardboard is the highest of any packaging material at 83% and 92.5% respectively. (Eurostat 2016)
At Smurfit Kappa, we contribute to a world without waste by supporting the concept of circularity. We collect used packaging and re-use more than 90% of this material in our closed loop business model.
Paper protects more resources than it uses
Packaging is essential in minimising damage to products and extending their useful life. On average, ten times more resources – materials, energy and water, are invested in products compared to the resources used to produce the packaging used to protect them. Without packaging many of the goods manufactured or food grown would be damaged or spoilt before they reach the consumer.
Paper packaging supports healthy forests
There are serious pressures on natural forests around the world including agriculture, unsustainable logging, mining, infrastructure projects and increased fire incidence and intensity (WWF 2015). As the demand for paper-based packaging increases, sustainable management of forests is essential.
At Smurfit Kappa, we manage our forest holdings based on three sustainable development principles: to promote economic growth, responsibly use natural resources and foster social equity wherever our plantations and forests are located. We have certified all our plantations and forest holdings to FSC® and/or PEFC™ where practical.