Mondi’s paper pallet wrapper trumps plastic on climate change, finds life cycle assessment
08 Nov 2021 --- Mondi’s paper pallet wrapper Advantage StretchWrap uses 62% lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to virgin plastic stretch film, according to the company’s latest commissioned life cycle assessment (LCA).
Advantage StretchWrap also demonstrated 49% lower GHG emissions compared to plastic stretch films made with 50% recycled content.
While the paper pallet wrapper showed a lower environmental impact than plastic in fossil resource use, plastic stretch film did perform better in some indicators, such as land use and freshwater eutrophication.
“Given the complexities of material choice, Mondi advocates taking an empirical, data driven route. Research, test, and test again. LCAs are effective and the outcomes of these will go into future developments or changes to its production,” a Mondi spokesperson tells PackagingInsights.
The LCA results arrived just after Mondi teamed up with the Italian machine producer ACMI to create the new wrapping system. The recyclable, lightweight paper can stretch and resist punctures, providing robust protection for goods during transit.
The full study was conducted by an external consultancy, is ISO-compliant and includes an external critical review.
The LCA compared 840 g of Advantage StretchWrap per Euro-pallet to 400 g of plastic at 50%, 30% and 0% recycled content rates per Euro-pallet, respectively.
Advantage StretchWrap was found to be responsible for a lower impact regarding:
- Climate change
- Fossil resource use
- Ionizing radiation: human health
- Particulate matter
- Human toxicity (cancer)
- Human toxicity (non-cancer)
- Freshwater ecotoxicity
- Mineral and metal resource use
However, the paper wrapper did not outscore the plastic wrap in relation to ozone depletion, photochemical ozone formation, freshwater, marine or terrestrial eutrophication, and land or water use.
The packaging and paper company highlights the “right materials” should be chosen for “the right applications.”
“Application and wrapping processes need to be taken into consideration for efficient wrapping. We evaluate each potential application of Advantage StretchWrap on a case-by-case basis,” indicates Mondi.
Furthermore, Mondi sees peer reviews as “essential,” considering they can “help deliver reliable, objective, and trustworthy data.”
“[Peer reviews] remove unconscious bias and bring fresh eyes to the whole process – often raising new questions by focusing on the statistics, rather than the opinions or trends around a product and its uses,” the spokesperson continues.
“They are critical tools to remain objective and focus on the true benefits of each material, instead of relying on emotions, which invariably could come into play when a product has taken years to develop.”
Mondi in the news
In other recent Mondi moves, the company equipped French Group LSDH’s Les Crudettes salads with functional barrier paper packaging made from 95% fiber, replacing its previous plastic bags. Mondi also teamed up with Taurus Packaging to develop a wet strength paper shopping bag for the South African retail market.
However, plastic packaging remains key to Mondi’s portfolio – “whenuseful.” The company recently launched RetortPouch Recyclable, an aluminum-free, mono-material solution designed to replace conventionally unrecyclable solutions.
Mondi also equipped Finnish premium dog food brand Hau-Hau Champion with a polyethylene bag, which can be recycled in plastic recycling streams.
By Anni Schleicher
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