Mondi has opened its first recycling laboratory at its Frantschach mill in Austria to test the recyclability of paper and paper-based packaging using non-paper components such as coatings.

Paper packaging has certain barrier functionality limitations for products such as perishable food, so to enhance its performance, non-paper components such as barrier coatings may need to be added.

The data collected at the laboratory will be used to improve existing products and provide information about their environmental impact. The company will also use the results to determine how the design of new packaging can be improved as well as how best to improve the circularity of material flows.

According to Mondi, the laboratory works in a similar way to industrial recycling facilities, but on a smaller scale.

Elisabeth Schwaiger, head of R&D and IP flexible packaging, said, ‘Currently, 78% of Mondi’s group wide portfolio is already either reusable, recyclable or compostable. This recycling lab enables us to move closer to our MAP2030 goals of making 100% of our products fulfil these requirements by 2025.’