Vienna-based Mondi Group says it has committed as a signatory to four packaging sustainability goals proposed by the London-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation in its New Plastics Economy Global Commitment report, which was issued on March 13.
Mondi says it first started collaborating with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in 2017 and joined the New Plastics Economy initiative in 2018 “to work toward eliminating plastic pollution and creating 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025.”
The company’s CEO says he sees many roles for paper and paperboard to replace single-use plastics. “We believe all packaging must be ‘fit for purpose’: paper where possible, plastic when useful,” says Peter Oswald, Mondi’s Group CEO.
“Paper is the packaging material of choice, as it is naturally compostable and a renewable resource, not just recyclable,” adds Oswald. “Mondi, as the world’s leading producer of kraft paper and paper bags, has many innovative solutions to reduce plastic waste. Where the functionality of plastic is needed, we have flexible plastic solutions, which typically reduce the amount of plastic required by 70 percent.”
Continues Oswald, “Our paper and flexible plastic packaging solutions regularly win awards, but commercial demand for some of our most innovative sustainable packaging was limited before last year. The public focus on the impact of plastic waste is changing that. This momentum gives us an important opportunity to lead our industry with innovative paper and plastic packaging ‘EcoSolutions’ that are sustainable by design.”
As a signatory to the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment report, Mondi says it has committed to:
- take action to eliminate plastic packaging considered problematic or unnecessary by 2025;
- take action to move from single-use towards reuse models where relevant by 2025;
- produce 100 percent of its plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025; and
- produce 25 percent of its plastic packaging to be made from from recycled content by 2025 (where it does not compromise functionality or food health requirements).
States Graeme Smith, the sustainability manager for Mondi Consumer Packaging, “Media reports on sustainability often send mixed and incomplete messages to consumers who are trying to educate themselves on the topic. This poses a challenge – but also serves as a powerful catalyst – in developing a stream of actionable innovation projects that meet shifting expectations and priorities.”